The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the voice of the global business travel industry – has welcomed President Barack Obama’s decision to make the Global Entry programme permanent.
In a speech in Orlando, the President expounded on how important increased travel is to the continued growth of United States’ economy. GBTA Foundation research has shown that business travel is a lead indicator for the economy. The latest GBTA Business Travel Index™ suggests that spending on business travel will grow 4.6% in 2012, which bodes well for the continuing economic recovery. According to GBTA Foundation research, international outbound travel has been a highlight of growth over the last several quarters, and the Global Entry program will help ensure that continues, as the process of clearing customs on return to the United States is made more efficient.
“President Obama’s speech echoes many points GBTA has made over the years and we are pleased to see travel as a focal point in our national dialogue,” said GBTA executive director and COO, Michael W. McCormick. “The administration’s decision to expand the Global Entry program will make international air travel far more efficient for today’s business travelers. GBTA is proud to have supported this program from its inception and hope it serves as an example for the expansion of the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program.”
President Obama also discussed how the administration’s plans to reduce wait times for visas in countries like China and Brazil. GBTA has recently launched GBTA Brazil, to expand the organization’s ongoing commitment to globalization. GBTA is a strong supporter of the Visa Waiver Program. In comments on testimony submitted last month to the House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary, Immigration Policy and Enforcement Subcommittee, McCormick said: “International business travel continues to be one of the few growth areas of our economy. Expanding the Visa Waiver Program will allow more inbound international travel which will be a tremendous boost for the economy. There has never been a more important time to make it easier for business travelers which will ultimately lead to even more travel. Expanding this program is a win for the U.S. economy.”