President Barack Obama recently issued an executive order aimed at boosting international tourism to the United States. His motivation is job creation – but I’m more excited about the opportunity for overseas travelers to have authentic experiences in America, meet my compatriots, and get a taste of our lifestyle.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I think authentic travel is good for the world because when we experience each other’s cultures it has the potential of leading to mutual understanding and fostering a more peaceful global community.
To quote my colleague Elizabeth Harryman, travel editor of Westways Magazine,
“I think it’s more important than ever for Americans to travel to foreign lands and learn about other cultures – and for other people to learn about us through our visits and through their own trips to America. I believe that travel is mankind’s last, best hope for peace in the world. It’s easy to demonize someone you’ve never met, but it’s much harder if you’ve chatted over a cup of coffee in an Istanbul restaurant or a pint of Guinness in a Dublin pub.”
Obama’s executive order calls for speedier visa processing, a visa waiver program for qualified applicants, and shaking up appointees to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
USA National Parks – not theme parks
I applaud his goal of making it easier to visit America, and I’m thrilled that his order includes a new interagency task force that will encourage sojourns to our country’s “national treasures.” By this, of course, he means USA national parks.
Please note he didn’t say “theme parks.” Because they have enormous advertising budgets, theme parks dominate the vacation plans of many overseas visitors and my fellow Americans when they travel in our beautiful country.
But the truth is that USA national parks offer the best Authentic Luxury Travel in our country. This is where international and local families hike the same trails, marvel at the same amazing scenic view, and get to know each other over a cold beer or a hot cup of coffee.
On this blog, I’ve already written about several USA National Parks: Glacier National Park in Montana and Denali National Park in Alaska. I’ve also described Amangiri Resort in Southern Utah, which overlooks Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and is near Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.
In my next post, I’ll write about more USA national parks: ”glamping” in Northern California’s Sequoia National Monument and exploring Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.
In the meantime you’ll find “how to get to” and “when to go” and “what to do in” information at the website of the USA National Parks.
Welcome to America.