by Sarah J.F. Braley | July 01, 2006
Has US-VISIT hurt international attendance at your events?

Yes: 27 %

No: 73 %

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In the name of Homeland Security, numerous passport requirements have been implemented or proposed for travelers into and out of the United States. A survey conducted in June sought meeting planners’ opinions on these new rules.
    Regarding the Registered Traveler program, which would allow those who pass background checks and pay an annual fee to go through an expedited security-screening process, 57 percent of the 135 people surveyed support the program, 24 percent do not and 19 percent aren’t sure. Interestingly, while 57 percent support the program, only 52 percent would sign themselves up as registered travelers.
chart    To be implemented by 2009 is the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, requiring passports for those crossing into or out of Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Mexico. When asked if this regulation would make them less likely to place a meeting in these destinations, 24 percent of those surveyed said yes for Canada, while 20 percent said they would be less likely to place a meeting in the Caribbean/Bermuda and Mexico.
    Already in place is the US-VISIT program, requiring many foreign travelers to be fingerprinted and to visit their consulates before they get on a plane to the United States. About a quarter of the respondents (27 percent) said the program hurts the ability of international participants to attend their meetings, with two respondents saying US-VISIT has virtually eliminated attendance by foreign travelers.
chart    The planners surveyed will continue inviting foreign participants to their U.S.-based meetings, as 84 percent have not considered choosing destinations outside the United States for events with a significant number of international attendees.