Land of Dreams: Welcoming Visitors to the United States

Posted by Ken Chavez
April 25, 2012

This week, I was privileged to join our Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services, David Donahue, in representing the State Department at the International Pow Wow in Los Angeles. Hosted each year by the U.S. Travel Association, the Pow Wow is the industry's premier marketplace for international travel. Exhibitors from America's top vacation spots meet with tour organizers and travel agents from around the world who are eager to bring international visitors to the United States.

You might wonder what the State Department is doing at a show like the Pow Wow. While a significant number of international visitors (65 percent) don't need a visa to visit the United States, we are streamlining the visa process for those who do.

The State Department plays an important role in facilitating inbound travel, and judging by my hoarse voice today, many journalists agree! Yesterday, I spoke to journalists from China, Russia, Ireland, Mexico, and Brazil for three hours non-stop. For me, the most rewarding part of the day was when several Brazilian reporters told me that we were doing a great job with the reduced wait times there.

Visas are an important tool in America's Jobs Diplomacy goals. After all, every additional 65 international visitors to the United States generate enough revenue to support an additional tourism-related job. That's why we are proud to support Brand USA, a public-private partnership with the mission of promoting increased international travel to the United States.

On Monday, Brand USA unveiled their marketing campaign in front of a packed room. The centerpiece of the campaign is an original song from Roseanne Cash. The crowd loved "Land of Dreams," and it was inspiring to see the diversity in people and places in the accompanying video. President Barack Obama also sent along a video message of support. It was great to see such high-level interest in the Pow Wow and Brand USA, which further demonstrates the U.S. government's commitment to secure and efficient travel to the United States.

Although I am exhausted -- and voiceless -- after my three days at the Pow Wow, I couldn't be happier to have witnessed the excitement about the extraordinary demand for travel to the United States and to get the word out on the State Department's efforts to encourage even more visitors to Discover America.

Related Content: The White House Blog -- President Obama Promotes Tourism | Behind the Scenes -- The Making of 'Land of Dreams'



April 25, 2012

G.R. writes:

It’s nice to take a vacation once in a while because this gives you physical and mental refreshment. I can still remember my unforgettable experience when I was in Bantayan Island. The place was indescribable. The surroundings were rare, pleasant to your soul.

District Of Columbia, USA
April 26, 2012

Anna in Washington, D.C. writes:

I love the song!

Susan C.
Florida, USA
April 26, 2012

Susan C. in Florida writes:

It is good to represent our country in such a positive way. I recognized much of the southern beauty of Florida and the Gulf coast! Great places to visit...good people, beautiful beaches and great food. Love the song!! Nicely done.

July 27, 2012

Bob in Canada writes:

I am a Canadian , and Im sure you realize that to say that the united states of America is NOT the land of dreams. and in fact there is nothing safe about visiting your country.

I love the people I know from their , But I am worried , your government came and took an Innocent man to prove a point, from Canada , and have held him unlawfully. and HE WASN'T even in your country. so could you tell me why, you seem to think your country is so great when it would make all Cannabis patients criminal and arrest organic farmers for profit from corporate interests that pay for elections.

If your campaign song and theme are not changed I will be litigating along with others for false advertizing. Please contact me with your intentions thank you in advance.

you may contact me via email. as I cannot trust that your organized criminal element may want to abduct me, as they are so well known for internationally.

thank you for your time.


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