Travel leaders in the US say they’re working closely with President Trump’s team in order to reduce extensive airport customs queues, which may include rolling out pre-clearance to more countries.

Speaking at IPW19 in Anaheim this week, US Travel Association’s Roger Dow said easing the travel experience to and from the US is a priority for the group, especially after the country’s global market tourism share fell from 13.7 percent in 2015 to 11.7 percent in 2018.

Although it may only seem like a small drop, the association’s President and Chief Executive explained that it represents a “huge amount of visitors”, which in turn affects local businesses and jobs.


Dow continued, saying that anything that hinders people from wanting to visit the country and contributes to a further decline in market share is of great concern to the body, including long airport queues.

One way Dow hopes to relieve airport frustrations and entice more people to visit the US is by expanding the country’s pre-clearance program, which allows travellers to go through a US customs check before they board a plane from their home country.

Currently, the system is available in Canada, Ireland and Abu Dhabi and is soon scheduled to roll out in Sweden and the Dominican Republic.

Dow hopes discussions with the administration will see pre-clearance expanded even further to include countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Israel, Poland and Romania.

Australia wasn’t mentioned in his list, however, when KARRYON asked Row about the possibility, he said it is up to the country and its airlines to start the conversation with the US.

“It’s a phenomenal program and one of the great things is it gets people out of queues and shorters those lines.”

Roger Dow, US Travel Association President & Chief Executive

“We’re working really hard to expand it.”



Would you prefer to go through US customs before leaving Australia?