Experts: International Travel Held Back by U.S. Rules - 8 News NOW

Experts: International Travel Held Back by U.S. Rules

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LAS VEGAS -- Major roadblocks are stopping visitors from traveling to Las Vegas as delays in the visa wait process and lines at the border are international tourists from spending on American travel.

Imagine paying hundreds of dollars to apply for a travel visa, then waiting more than 100 days for a three-minute interview.

This is what many international travelers still have to go through, just to visit the Las Vegas Strip.

Now, the U.S.'s leading travel experts are fighting to make that problem go away so international tourists can visit and spend money.

A singing Elvis impersonator signifies Las Vegas across the globe.

As the owner of a Las Vegas wedding chapel, Brendan Paul is showing travel buyers what he can do for tourists around the world at a major travel convention.

"We do international weddings every day," Paul said. "That's pretty much our biggest business."

Reducing wait times for travel visas has been a huge undertaking for Rossi Ralenkotter, president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

"Travel throughout the world has been growing and the United States has not been getting its fair share," Ralenkotter said.

At a travel conference Tuesday morning, U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow told a crowd of international journalists that includes eliminating the need for travel visas for some countries all together.

"If we can get more countries in the visa waiver program, it's just like opening up a faucet of people who want to come here," Dow said.

Lines to enter the United States at the border, especially from Mexico, means more Customs and Border Protection officers are needed to process travelers.

"The bottom line: There's simply not enough of them," Dow said.

Help, though, could be on the way.

The U.S. Senate's immigration legislation is calling for 3,400 more officers at borders and airports, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security budget just added 1,600 more.

Travel experts said the tourism conference held Tuesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center was a great way to expose Las Vegas to international visitors

The convention is expected to generate more than $3.5 billion in future travel to the U.S.

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