President Obama joked “I’m very excited to meet Mickey. It’s always nice to meet a world leader with bigger ears than mine”. The president was at Disney today to announce a push to shorten the process of getting a travel Visa for travelers in countries like China and Brazil.
The president’s speech was just 13 minutes long, but he stressed the importance of international visitors.
“We’ve got the best product to sell. I mean look at where we are” he said standing in front of the iconic Cinderella’s castle. “The more folks who visit America, the more Americans we get back to work. It’s that simple.”
While the thought of more Brazilian tour groups might make theme park fans groan, parks like Disney depend on their visits as they spend around $5,000 dollars per visit. There is also a serious backlog of travel Visas, making them delay their trips which could in turn drive to other tourist destinations around the world.
Adrian Jones, General Manager of Legoland Florida agrees, faster turn around times means more tourism dollars for Central Florida and the country.
“This development is a major game-changer for Florida. An improved visa process helps us roll out the welcome mat to our friends in Brazil and will result in record numbers of young families visiting Florida.”
Legoland just opened in October of 2011 and is already planning for the future with huge park events, expansions, and even a diverse group of the parks employees, the “model citizens”.
“Cost and convenience historically are two of the biggest barriers in travel. By addressing the hassle factor and making the visa process less onerous, we’ve just substantially improved our chance of attracting additional guests.
As a brand new theme park that caters to young families this is of course very welcome news for LEGOLAND Florida. The Brazilians’ affection for America, love of theme parks and their affinity for the LEGO brand present the perfect opportunity for us in that market.
The fact that we’re already seeing large numbers from Latin America combined with today’s announcement is pushing us to seek out more Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking model citizens to better accommodate our guests from across this region.”
View the entire speech, courtesy of Inside The Magic:
What do you think of the Presidents speech and decision?