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Visa Reform Advocates: Target Terror, Not Tourism

The war on terror has cost the U.S. billions in tourism dollars. Now many believe we should view international visitors as an economic opportunity -- not a security threat. Read Transcript


Reporter: MILLIONS

AROUND THE WORLD SEE THE

UNITED STATES AS THEIR

NUMBER ONE TRAVEL

DESTINATION.

DANIEL CABRAL IS ONE OF

THEM.

ALTHOUGH HE LIVES ALONG THE

BEAUTIFUL BRAZILIAN COAST,

HE LOOKS FOR OPPORTUNITIES

TO VISIT THE STATE.

IT IS REALLY GOOD TO GO

SHOPPING.

THE PRICES THERE COMPARED TO

HERE ARE REALLY LOW.

Reporter: IN FACT,

FOREIGN VISITORS REPRESENT

BIG MONEY.

LAST YEAR THEY SPENT

$150 BILLION HERE, AND

BRAZILIANS TOPPED THE

CHARTS, SPENDING ABOUT

$5,000 PER VISIT.

THE FACT IS BRAZILIANS,

ESPECIALLY THE MOVIE-RICH

BRAZILIANS, APPEAR IN THE

NORTHEAST.

THEY HAVE OPPORTUNITIES AND

MONEY TO SPEND, AND THEY

WANT TO SEE THE WORLD.

THEY WANT TO SEE AMERICA.

Reporter: BUT IT IS NOT

ALL GOOD NEWS.

THE VALUE OF GLOBAL TRAVEL

IS EXPECTED TO DOUBLE IN THE

NEXT 10 YEARS TO OVER

$2 TRILLION.

BUT THE U.S. SHARE OF THAT

IS SHRINKING.

PEOPLE LIKE TO USE

SERVICES THAT ARE EASY AND

CONVENIENT.

Reporter: SECURITY

ANALYST JAMES, SAYS THE A

LABORIOUS VISA PROBLEM CURBS

THE TRAVEL.

IN FACT, THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY

CALLS THE LAST 10 YEARS THE

LOST DECADE.

IN 2000, THE U.S. COMMANDED

17% OF THE INTERNATIONAL

TRAVEL.

TODAY IT IS JUST 12%.

A BIG REASON FOR THAT DROP

IS THAT MANY POTENTIAL

TOURISTS NEED A PASSPORT,

PLUS A VISA, TO TRAVEL TO

THE U.S.

AND GETTING THAT VISA COULD

TAKE MONTHS.

THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH A

LENGTHY APPLICATION PROCESS,

AND HAVE AN IN-PERSON

INTERVIEW TO BE APPROVED FOR

A VISA.

Reporter: CBN NEWS MET

BRUNO AS HE WAITED FOR HIS

OUTSIDE THE U.S. CONSULATE

IN BRAZIL.

BECAUSE MY CITY -- I

CAN'T TAKE THE VISA THERE.

I HAVE TO TRAVEL TO SPAIN

AND SPEND TWO DAYS THERE.

WHAT WE'VE SEEN WITH SOME

BRAZILIAN TOURISTS, THEY'RE

GOING TO COUNTRIES WHERE

THEY DON'T HAVE TO GET A

VISA.

COUNTRIES LIKE FRANCE AND

GERMANY.

Reporter: THE U.S. WILL

CUT THE VISA WAIT TIME BY

40% OVER THE NEXT YEAR.

IN HAFIFI IT USED TO TAKE 60

DAYS TO GET A VISA.

IT NOW TAKES TWO.

THERE IS ALSO SUPPORT TO ADD

MORE COUNTRIES, SUCH AS

BRAZIL, TO THE VISA WAIVER

PROGRAM.

THIS ALLOWS PASSENGERS TO

COME TO THE U.S. WITH JUST

LIAR PASSPORT.

ONE THING THE UNITED

STATES CAN DO IS MAKE IT

EASIER TO COME TO THE UNITED

STATES.

IN THE POST-9/11 WORLD,

PEOPLE EQUATE EASIER WITH

SECURITY RISKS, BUT THAT IS

NOT NECESSARILY SO.

Reporter: THOSE

COUNTRIES MOST AGREE TO

SPECIFIC SECURITY PROTOCOLS,

SHARE LOST AND STOLEN

PASSPORT INFORMATION.

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT KNOWS

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT

SOMEBODY COMING FROM A

COUNTRY WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE

TO GET A VISA, IRONICALLY,

THAN A COUNTRY WHERE YOU

DO.

Reporter: FOR DANIEL,

THESE EFFORTS ARE ALREADY

PAYING OFF.

IT TOOK JUST TWO WEEKS FOR

HIM TO GET A VISA FOR A

VISIT IN MAY.

I TOLD ALL OF MY

FRIENDS.

AND EVEN MY FAMILY IS AR IS

GETTING THEIR VISA.

Reporter: EVERY 33

VISITORS HERE CREATE ONE

AMERICAN JOB.

SO THE MORE PEOPLE WHO

VISIT, THE MORE AMERICANS

WILL GET BACK TO WORK.

HEATHER CELLS, CBN NEWS.

EMBED THIS VIDEO


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