USTA envia carta a Obama e pede Brasil no Visa Waiver

03/03/2011

Depois de preparar um documento mostrando a importância da ação para a economia norte-americana, a US Travel Association segue em seu lobby para tentar incluir o Brasil no Programa Visa Waiver. Para tal, o presidente da entidade, Roger Dow, enviou ontem correspondência ao presidente Barack Obama (foto) onde fala, especificamente, da importância da entrada do País no programa de isenção de vistos norte-americanos.

Para o brasileiro Luiz de Moura Jr., vice-presidente da entidade, que já havia adiantado a intenção da US Travel Association, “nada mais oportuno e apropriado do que neste momento em que o presidente Barak Obama vem ao Brasil para tratar de acordos bilaterais”. O Consulado dos Estados Unidos em São Paulo, no entanto, esclareceu, por meio de sua assessoria de imprensa, que “neste momento não há informação alguma sobre a possibilidade de o presidente Obama fazer anúncio de que o Brasil entrará no programa durante sua visita ao País este mês”.

Mas Moura informa que a entidade segue solicitando ao presidente que inicie diálogos com este propósito em sua viagem ao Brasil e Chile. Na correspondência, reproduzida integralmente abaixo, onde se dirige diretamente à Obama, Dow diz: “em nome da indústria de viagens e turismo dos Estados Unidos, é com satisfação que transmitimos nosso entusiasmo sobre sua visita à América do Sul. (…) Nós solicitamos que V. Exa. abrace uma oportunidade única de discutir com Brasil e Chile suas perspectivas para inclusão em nosso Programa Visa Waiver (WVP).”

Fato é que a indústria de viagens brasileira deveria se articular e aproveitar para fazer lobby semelhante junto à presidente Dilma Rousseff para que houvesse empenho de ambos os lados para tratar do tema, uma vez que, sem reciprocidade, não será possível resolver a questão que tanto interessa também ao turismo brasileiro. Seja do ponto de vista emissivo como também do receptivo, uma vez que se argumenta a perda de receita em função dos muitos turistas norte-americanos - e eventos - que deixam de vir ou acontecer no Brasil pela dificuldade na obtenção de vistos.

Segundo informou Roger Dow na carta ao presidente Obama, a entrada do Brasil e do Chile no VWP fortaleceria a economia norte-americana permitindo aos Estados Unidos receber, rapidamente, o dobro de visitantes originários desses países, gerando US% 10,3 bilhões em receitas de exportação e dando suporte a 95,1 mil empregos.

Veja abaixo a íntegra (em inglês) da correspondência enviada ontem pela US Travel Association ao presidente Barack Obama:

"March 3, 2011

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

On behalf of the U.S. travel and tourism industry, I am pleased to convey our enthusiasm and anticipation about your upcoming mission to South America. We commend your consistent commitment to such personal outreach. In this spirit, we urge you to embrace a particularly important opportunity to discuss with Brazil and Chile their prospects for inclusion in our Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Entrance of Brazil and Chile into the VWP would energize the U.S. economy by allowing the U.S. to double visitation from these countries more quickly, thus generating $10.3 billion in export revenues and supporting 95,100 American jobs.

The VWP permits business and leisure travelers from 36 participating countries to visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without obtaining a non-immigrant visitor visa. The program facilitates and promotes overseas travel to the U.S. while simultaneously allowing the State Department to shift visa screening resources to higher risk countries.

Visitors from VWP countries play a key role in making travel the leading service export for our nation. According to Commerce Department data, 15.7 million VWP visitors traveled to the U.S. in 2009. While here, they spent nearly $57 billion, supporting 492,000 American jobs and generating $8.4 billion in government tax revenues. On average, overseas travelers spent $4,000 per person, per visit to the U.S. in 2009. Yet, while the global travel market increased by 198 million travelers from 2000 to 2009, the U.S. welcomed 2.4 million fewer overseas visitors during this timeframe. Unlike many other exports which face tariff and other barriers imposed by other governments, the U.S. government has the means to immediately increase U.S. travel exports by expanding the VWP.

Expanding the VWP to new countries in South America is an effective and prudent mechanism to improve America’s competitiveness in the world and help the U.S. regain the 17% share of the world travel market it had in 2000. Brazil, for example, represents a massive market for travel to the U.S. with a population of nearly 200 million people and annual gross domestic product of more than a trillion dollars. Brazilian visitors spend on average $5,114 per person in the U.S., the highest spending among the top-10 counties with the most visitations to the U.S. In 2009, this spending totaled $4.6 billion which, in turn, supported 41,360 jobs in the United States.

While the U.S. share of Brazilian long-haul travel has improved in recent years, it still remains 14% below its share in 2000. Competitors such as Portugal, Mexico, Argentina, Italy and Germany have attracted a larger share of this market than the United States in recent years, some seeing up to a 50% growth in arrivals.

Chile is also a prime candidate for a bilateral discussion on the VWP. U.S. arrivals from Chile to the U.S. totaled 127,000 in 2009, down 34% from 2000. During the same timeframe, total outbound long-haul travel from Chile to other countries increased more than 50%. The decline in U.S. market share of outbound travel from Chile has significant economic costs since Chilean travelers spent an average of $4,600 during a U.S. trip in 2009 and directly generated a total of $580 million in U.S. exports, and supported 5,300 U.S. jobs.

All of South America, the European Union, Russia and New Zealand provide Brazilian and Chilean citizens visa-free privileges for short-term tourism visits. In contrast, the U.S. has not engaged in dialogue with the Brazilian or Chilean government regarding the VWP. As a result, Brazilians and Chileans often report that it is a significant hassle to travel to the United States due to the cumbersome U.S. visa process. For example, prospective Brazilian visitors seeking to travel to the United States often wait up to 100 days for a visa interview appointment and pay a significant amount of money to travel, often by a separate flight, to a U.S. consulate for an interview.

As Brazil and Chile’s economies continue to grow, we hope demand to travel to the U.S. will follow. However, knowing that our consulates in Brazil are ill-prepared to meet current demand, we fear that increased demand will make getting a visa to travel the U.S. even more cumbersome, only furthering the disadvantage the U.S. suffers against competing nations that offer visa-free travel to Brazilians and Chileans. Accordingly, during the White House mission to South America later this month, we urge the initiation of a bilateral dialogue with Brazil and Chile on steps each country can take to enhance its prospects to qualify for the VWP – and to establish as a joint objective that Brazil and Chile endeavor to qualify by the end of your first term.

The U.S. government has previously taken similar steps to assist countries seeking membership in the VWP. In February 2005, President Bush announced that the United States would develop bilateral discussions with 13 “Road Map” countries that were seeking admission into the VWP.

These bilateral discussions provided a venue for the Departments of Homeland Security and State to communicate the program’s statutory requirements with the Road Map countries and develop a strategy to help these countries meet the VWP criteria. For instance, the State Department tasked U.S. embassies in the Road Map countries to form working groups with the host governments to discuss the VWP process. These groups agreed on specific actions that each country needed to take to be considered for program membership. In 2008, seven of the Road Map countries satisfied the VWP requirements and were admitted into the VWP.

The addition of these new countries to the VWP took place following the adoption of strict security measures, strong travel document standards, and enhanced information sharing. Countries in the VWP must issue International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)-compliant electronic-passports and report information on all lost and stolen passports to the United States via INTERPOL. VWP countries also share information on travelers who may pose a terrorist or criminal threat to the United States.

As a result, our government is able to supplement our “watch list” database with information from the travelers’ home governments. In addition, each traveler from a participating country must also obtain pre-clearance to board a flight to the U.S. through the Electronic System Travel Authorization (ESTA). Working with Brazil and Chile to adopt these enhanced security measures would improve U.S. security and strengthen our partnerships in South America.

Mr. President, as you know from your personal travels, the most effective ambassadors for U.S values are ordinary Americans, the kind of people that overseas travelers meet while in the U.S. To advance our own national security, economic competitiveness and public diplomacy, we respectfully request using the opportunity of your visit to initiate a process to include Brazil and Chile in the VWP. We wish you a safe and successful visit, and we look forward to working with the White House on this and many other opportunities to advance economic recovery through robust, pro-U.S. travel and tourism initiatives.

Sincerely,

Roger J. Dow
President and CEO"

Fonte: BuscaViagens


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Veja também


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Grupo dos EUA pede que Obama libere Brasil e Chile de visto - 17/03/2011


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Visita de Obama pode ajudar Brasil com Visa Waiver - 03/03/2011


Entidade pede a Obama fim de visto para Brasil - 02/03/2011



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