The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Daley to McCain: We Love Tourists!

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 21, 2008 3:40PM

2008_5_21.ferriswheel.jpgMayor Daley, along with the mayors of Honolulu and Miami and travel and hospitality industry leaders, met with Republican presidential hopeful John McCain yesterday to discuss expanding the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which lets nationals of participating countries enter the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa. "As the travel process becomes more difficult, America's economy and image suffers," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association, who joined the mayors in a roundtable discussion with McCain. "We have lost 250,000 jobs. A lot of that is due to we are now regarded as an unfriendly place to visit," Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann said.

Daley discussed the importance of easing visa requirements if Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid is to be a success. “If you can't get the fans to the Olympics, you can’t have an Olympics,” Dow said. McCain was sympathetic, according to Dow, but stressed the importance of keeping the borders secure. Mayors and the travel industry are asking presidential candidates to support a bill before congress that would support an outreach program to educate travelers about U.S. vis requirements. According to Dow, McCain supports modernizing the nation's air traffic control system to reduce airport delays.

Photo by Yan Pritzker