Embassies, visas and local news

Interesting piece from Bloomberg that got picked up around the media world.

U.S. Tourist Visa Demand Surges on China, Brazil

This is a great story for local reporters as well.

According to the article, visa applications/issuance has gone up 35 percent in China this year and 44 percent  in Brazil. That means that there are a lot more Chinese and Brazilians coming to the United States to spend money and create jobs.

And the U.S. government understands that visa-job connection:

To promote job growth and welcome more visitors from the increasingly affluent countries, the U.S. hopes it can handle up to 4 million visa applications in the two countries by 2013, more than double the current amount, Ramotowski said. Together the two countries accounted for about 1.8 million of the 7.5 million visas issued last year.

What the article did not mention is that for every 82 visas issued in Brazil, at least one job is created in Florida. According to the article, last month (October 2011) the United States issues 90,000 visas. That means those visas equated to about 1,100 new jobs in Florida just to handle the influx of Brazilian tourists. And that is in just one month.

Let’s say, however, that only half of the people getting visas went to Florida. That is still 550 jobs created each month or 6,600 jobs in the year. Remember that these are numbers directly related to the visas. Expand that out to the impact having more people earning more money and creating more jobs in the area and you can start to see why encouraging visitors is good for the local economy.

And, it turns out, that foreign visitors to the United States spending money in the United States also helps balance the trade deficits.

To summarize:

  • Local news organizations should keep track of the growth of international visitors because those visitors bring money and jobs to the local area.
  • When the U.S. government is forced to close because of budget disputes, that means no visas are issued. That, in turn, means a loss of income and jobs.
  • Efforts to cut or gut the State Department have direct and real consequences to the U.S. domestic economy.
  • Fewer visa officers=fewer visas issued=reduced job opportunities in the United States.

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Filed under Connections, Story Ideas, Trade

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