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U.S. government taking steps to attract foreign visitors: report (2)

(Xinhua)

10:52, September 20, 2012

Meanwhile, the State Department is investing millions of dollars to upgrade and expand its existing consular facilities. For example, a new consulate building will be opened in Guangzhou, China in Fiscal Year 2013, says the report.

The U.S. government is also building partnerships with Disney, American Express and other tourism industry stakeholders to attract international visitors, the report adds.

The travel and tourism industry is a substantial component of the U.S. GDP and employment, contributing 1.4 trillion dollars in economic activity and 7.5 million jobs according to 2011 figures.

It is projected that more than 1 million American jobs could be created over the next decade if the United States increases its share of the international travel market, noted the White House.

According to industry experts and the Bureau of Economic Analysis, international travel is particularly important as overseas or "long-haul" travelers spend on average 4,000 dollars per visit, which in turn supports and leads to additional travel and tourism-related jobs, the White House added.

"I'm glad we're making progress and I'll continue to do whatever I can to strengthen the travel and tourism industry and create an economy that's built to last," President Obama was quoted as saying.

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