State Dept. Video: 'Visit America: It's Easier than You Think'
Says visa process is now smoother.
by Daniel Halper, Weekly Standard June 13, 2012
A new video released by the State Department is trying to encourage tourists from around the world to visit America.
"Visit America," a caption reads. "It's easier than you think." As tranquil music plays in the background, scenes of American landmarks are displayed onscreen. Another caption states, "Discover America. More than 65 million visitors do each year."
The only voice in the video is that of President Obama. "We've got the best product to sell," Obama says in a clip taken from a January speech at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. "We've got the most entertaining destinations in the world."
A State Department slogan of sorts later flashes on screen, "Department of State: Promoting Security, Welcoming the World."
The video appears to be a response to an ABC report from October that chronicled how the State Department's slow visa process resulted in $606 billion loss over the last decade.
"All around the world, in Brazil, India and China, the fast-growing middle classes look to travel to the U.S., but only 13 percent actually come here, according to the U.S. Travel Association – some say, because it's so difficult to get a visa. Thirty-eight percent travel to Europe instead because it's easier," ABC reported.
"In the last decade, the U.S. lost out on 78 million overseas visitors -- that's $606 billion in spending -- in stores, malls, tourist destinations right here in America. Enough to add nearly half a million jobs every year. The State Department told ABC News that safety and security comes first, but acknowledged they're working on the problem."
Over a half a year later, the State Department now appears to be claiming to have fixed the problem.
"We are investing more resources for a more efficient visa process," a caption in the State Department video claims.