The United States Department of Commerce, on behalf of the Tourism Policy Council, has released the 2022 National Travel and Tourism Strategy.
According to the department, the strategy follows a four-point approach. These points are:
- Promoting the United States as a travel destination
- Facilitating travel to and within the United States
- Ensuring diverse, inclusive, and accessible tourism experiences
- Fostering resilient and sustainable travel and tourism
The goal of the second point, facilitating travel to and within the US, is to reduce barriers to trade and travel services, and make it safer and more efficient for travellers to enter the country.
Three strategies have been noted to address this point. The first is to use improvements and new developments in technology to position the US as a leader in verifying traveller identities. Some of the identified actions for this strategy include incorporating touchless technology and pursuing the use of foil-less visas that provide verification of the traveller’s identity for digital visa processing. A third action is to explore the direct capture of photographs for passports and visas, to standardise image quality for improved comparisons against travel documents, reduce the probability of false rejections, and combat fraud.
The second strategy is to expand remote processing opportunities to manage staff and other resources more effectively without compromising security. An identified action for this strategy is to explore the expansion of online functions and services that allow processes, where appropriate, that were previously only possible in-person. Other actions are to modernise the passport acceptance process and harness efficiencies at TSA checkpoints.
The third strategy is to strengthen partnerships to assist in travel facilitation. This includes those with international and private-sector partners. Identified actions for this strategy include increasing efforts to develop cross-border interoperability and alignment to allow travellers to visit between bordering nations more seamlessly. Continue and expand data-sharing agreements between countries to enable more automated security processes and reduce traveller delays. To develop strategies for incorporating health data as part of travel screening, and to provide quick and easy information to travellers.