Brand USA Welcomes and Supports the Agreement to Bring Global Entry Program to the Republic of Korea
WASHINGTON, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Brand USA, the public-private tourism marketing entity responsible for promoting the United States to world travelers, applauds an agreement implemented today that will allow Republic of Korean travelers to sign up for easier entry to the United States.
U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar and Jae-Jin Kwon, Republic of Korea Minister of Justice, formally announced the opening of a reciprocal program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. Members of the Republic of Korea's Smart Entry Service may now apply for the United States' Global Entry benefits, and Global Entry members may apply for the Republic of Korea's Smart Entry Service.
Upon arrival at 26 of the United States' busiest international airports, program participants will proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration. The kiosk will issue the traveler a transaction receipt and direct the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.
Brand USA is working with CBP to promote Global Entry and devise specific ways to make visitors feel more welcome when they arrive at U.S. ports of entry.
"Our country offers limitless travel opportunities from the bustling cities to the majestic mountains and expansive shorelines," Brand USA CEO Jim Evans said. "It is so important that visitors feel that we are welcoming them with open arms. We need to get the word out and communicate this new U.S. entry policy."
As part of that effort, Brand USA, in partnership with United Airlines, is working to ensure this country's tourism presence at the Embassy Seoul's July 4 celebration. The event is expected to draw 1,500 travel trade, corporate, and diplomatic attendees at the Grand Hyatt Seoul.
The Republic of Korea is the third country to have a fully reciprocal, publicly available trusted traveler program with the United States, joining Canada and the Netherlands. As of May, over one million pre-approved travelers already have Global Entry benefits and the inclusion of the Republic of Korea is expected to boost the participation level significantly.
The number of visitors from the Republic of Korea has doubled since 2004. Over 1.1 million Korean travelers -- a record number -- came to the United States in 2011, injecting more than $3.8 billion into the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI). OTTI data also indicated that the top three airports used for arrival by Korean travelers are Los Angeles International Airport, Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, which lead to many additional cities in the United States as eventual destinations.
"Global Entry allows travelers to quickly enter the United States as they visit or return home and reduce wait times for all travelers," Evans said. "It is part of efforts by the U.S. government to create a more welcoming experience for international travelers. We look forward to seeing many South Koreans take advantage of this program as they come to discover this land like never before."
Brand USA was established by the Travel Promotion Act in 2010 to spearhead the nation's first global marketing effort to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and communicate U.S. entry/exit policies and procedures. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA. Brand USA works in close partnership with the travel industry to maximize the economic and social benefits of travel. Through its call-to-action -- DiscoverAmerica.com -- Brand USA inspires travelers to explore the United States of America's boundless possibilities. For industry or partner information about Brand USA, visit www.TheBrandUSA.com. For information about exceptional and unexpected travel experiences in the United States, please visit Brand USA's consumer website at www.DiscoverAmerica.com.
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