NEW YORK, September 30 (Itar-Tass) — The United States is interested in larger number of Russian tourists visiting the country. The flow of tourists between the two countries is growing every year, and this positively affects the dynamics of Russian-American relations, US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Michael Hammer told Itar-Tass on Friday evening.
Russian citizens without intermediaries, for example, the media, can get familiarised with the United States on their own and get acquainted with Americans, Hammer said. People in America are very friendly towards Russian tourists. The United States is doing to do everything necessary to facilitate the visa issue procedure for Russians.
According to him, the issue of the abolition of the visa regime between the two countries is not yet relevant, but Washington does not rule out such a possibility in the future.
The American tourism industry brings significant revenues to the federal, state and local budgets. The current administration of US President Barack Obama that sees the creation of new jobs as its main socio-economic objective, intends to encourage the industry’s further development. Since the beginning of this year, the number of people employed in the tourism sector the United States has grown by 200 thousand people and reached some 8 million. The creation of at least another 1.2 million jobs is projected.
Last year, 62 million foreign tourists visited the United States. Compared to 2010, the flow of tourists to the country has increased by 4.2 percent. The tourism industry has brought to the US national economy 153 billion dollars in revenues.