The US Visa process is costing the US economy at least $2.4 billion, a study has found.
21 December 2010
Slow US Visa process blamed for poor exhibition attendance
Delays and problems obtaining a US Visa prevented around 116,000 international participants from attending exhibitions in the US this year, a study conducted by Oxford Economics for the Center for Exhibition Industry Research reveals.
The study found that the lengthy and onerous process of getting a US Visa has resulted in billions of dollars of losses in foreign trade because US companies are unable to meet with potential clients, as well as a loss in international visitor spending in the hospitality and meetings industries.
The barriers to obtaining a visa are particularly acute in Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the study reports.
President and chief executive officer at the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, which owns CEIR, Steven Hacker said: “While we are mindful of the need for careful screening of international visitors entering the U.S., keeping our borders secure should not be at the expense of keeping our economy open for business.”
IAEE officials intend to present the report’s findings to several federal agencies, including the state, homeland security, and commerce departments.
Oxford Economics surveyed US-based exhibition organizers from 47 major 2010 events representing 1.3 million attendees and found that about 2.5 per cent of potential international attendees and exhibitors don’t attend exhibitions because of US Visa issues.
The US exhibition industry as a whole loses 116,000 potential visitors because of visa issues, including 78,400 potential attendees and 37,900 potential exhibitors, which translates into approximately $2.4 billion in lost sales, including $1.5 billion in business-to-business trade, $540 million in registration fees, and $295 million in visitor spending.