Historic tourism move by America has Australia rattled

President Obama pledges to tackle USA's growing loss of global tourism market share

by Peter Needham

US President Barack Obama has launched a bold new plan to revive international tourist travel to the US and claw back the country’s international tourism market share. America’s share of the international tourism pie has been shrinking for many years.

The initiative, long overdue, will make it easier and faster for tourists to visit the US. The proposed measures have won strong support from virtually all sectors of the US travel industry, an indication that they are on the right track and a sound step for America.

At the same time, it has worried the Australian industry. If foreign tourists find it much easier to visit America, they may do that instead of visiting Australia. Tourists from China, for instance, currently need to get a visa to come to Australia and it can be a hassle.

For America, Obama’s new plan is a milestone. More than many countries, the US needs to tread a fine line, welcoming tourists while  keeping out those who seek to damage the US through terrorism, or who want to come in ostensibly as tourists and then stay.

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