One little meeting could mean big returns for the U.S. travel industry.
When President Barack Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff met Monday, they committed to work together so that Brazil can join the U.S. Visa Waiver Program. The program allows citizens from some countries to visit the U.S. for 90 days without obtaining a non-immigrant visitor visa. Obtaining a visa sometimes can take months.
“Brazilians who come to the U.S. are walking stimulus packages, and today’s announcement positions the U.S. for additional jobs and economic growth. We look forward to Brazil quickly satisfying the requirements for the Visa Waiver Program,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.
In 2010, the U.S. welcomed 1,198,000 Brazilians who spent an average of $4,940 while in the U.S.
Monday’s meeting follows President Obama’s announcement earlier this year that he plans to accelerate visa processing in Brazil by 40 percent in 2012.
Perhaps to that end, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also announced the State Department would open new consulates in Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre, Brazil.