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Vacation Seasons Starts: Klobuchar Promotes Tourism Bill

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(credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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By Courtney King, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Memorial Day weekend is considered the traditional start of the summer vacation season and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is hoping her bill will bring more tourists to Minnesota.

Klobuchar, who chairs a subcommittee overseeing the nation’s travel and tourism industry, wants to speed up the processing of foreign visas.

“Our country’s lost 20 percent of international tourism business since (September 11, 2001). It’s not about the economy; it’s actually how long it takes to get tourism visas, how difficult it is.”

WCCO’s Dave Lee Interviews Sen. Amy Klobuchar

She told WCCO-AM’s Dave Lee that increasing international visits would add jobs to Minnesota’s economy.

“Every point we add to the international tourism business adds 160,000 jobs in America,” she explained.

A recent report estimates that overseas tourists spend $4,000 each when they visit the U.S.

Klobuchar said tourism is Minnesota’s fifth largest industry which is shocking to some residents.

“I think people are surprised by that,” she said.

Klobuchar said tourists have several favorite Minnesota destinations.

“The fishing lodges up north, the beautiful bluff country, hill country down in Lanesboro, Mall of America — you name it.”

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