Chile being added to Visa Waiver Program

Travel leaders everywhere are rejoicing.

Another country soon will be added to the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, enabling another entire nation of travelers to freely visit the U.S. without what could be a lengthy administrative process.

The Republic of Chile, when added in May, will be the only country in Latin America with visa-free travel to the U.S.

“Chile is a terrific addition to the Visa Waiver community. Visitors to the U.S. from Chile spent over $5,000 per trip in 2012, 15 percent more than the average overseas traveler,” U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement.

According to the association, travel to the U.S. increases when countries are included in the program. When South Korea joined, for instance, the association found that visitor spending from that country tripled in the first year.

“The more broadly we are able to expand Visa Waiver, the more direct and uniformly positive effects there will be for our economy, plain and simple,” Dow said.