According to US Travel President and Chief Executive, Roger Dow, the collapse of the visa waiver programme would prove to be disastrous for all the people involved.
Of all the foreign visitors who came to the US in 2015, 52 percent did so through the visa waiver programme. This programme enables reciprocal movement between the US and the countries in the EU. TTG is quoted as saying that the EU’s negotiations about the long-term feasibility of the programme are currently focused on the exclusion of five countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Poland and Romania. The conclusions would be made public in the first week of July.
Dow hoped that EU will act smartly by sticking to the waiver programme and attempt to include those five countries. The fallouts of changing the existing setup may prove disastrous for the US and Europe, he warned.
It was an effort by the US Travel Association to make its stance unambiguous following adverse media coverage in the US about the scheme.
Although some not so well-informed members of the media and US Congress are all for halting the programme totally, the association is confident that policy and diplomacy will prevail with the active intervention of lawmakers.
The World Travel and Tourism Council President and Chief Executive, David Scowsill, echoing Dow’s feelings on the scheme, said that they supported freedom to travel freely, and warned about government overreacting to certain unfortunate incidents.