Vinnie Polito, co-president of the Exhibitions and Conferences Alliance (ECA) in the USA, issued the following statement regarding the 7 June US House Foreign Affairs Committee Oversight & Accountability Subcommittee hearing “Examining the Fiscal Year 24 Bureau of Consular Affairs Budget”:
“More than a year and a half after the international travel bans were lifted, unacceptable visa delays are still preventing us from fully welcoming back many international exhibitors and attendees to US trade shows and conferences. This significantly harms our industry’s ability to drive economic growth, support job creation, and empower small businesses nationwide.
“ECA hopes that today’s hearing represents a turning point that leads to the long-overdue reduction in visitor visa appointment wait times at US embassies and consulates around the world. We commend the House Foreign Affairs Committee Oversight & Accountability Subcommittee and its members for prioritising this important issue on a bipartisan basis.”