WTTC meet asks US to get tourist friendly

Global travel bosses are calling on the U.S. government to make it easier for tourists to cross the country’s borders.

At its sixth annual global summit in the U.S., the World Travel and Tourism Council told Dow Jones newswire that private industry and governments need to work together to nurture a fragmented worldwide travel industry.

They also think that the U.S. government should do more to improve the U.S. travel experience.

Unlike some other nations, the U.S. does not have a minister of tourism to promote travel.

Michael Chertoff, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, opened the meeting Tuesday, stressing his concern for the safety and security of U.S. borders.


But during informal panel discussions, travel executives like Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and chief executive of Carlson said travelers to the U.S. worry whether they’ll be greeted with a welcome or a warning.

A “blind spot in the U.S.” regarding its relations with friendly Arab countries is causing some tourists to bypass the United States, Maurice Flanagan, vice chairman of Emirates Airlines, told a panel discussion.

With a labor shortage looming in the hotel industry, Marriott urged the U.S. Congress to adopt a policy which will let immigrant workers fill some of those jobs.