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Industry News – June 25, 2024

Travel Industry News – JUNE 25, 2024

Two US State Department news items and one surprise from SelfishMe Travel…

ONLINE PASSPORT RENEWAL PROGRAM

On June 12, the US State Department announced that they will restart the online passport renewal program as a beta release for eligible U.S. citizens to upload their documents digitally.

You must meet all the requirements shown here:

๐Ÿ›๏ธ The passport you are renewing is or was valid for 10 years, and you are age 25 or older.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ The passport you are renewing was issued between 2009 and 2015, or over 9 years but less than 15 years from the date you plan to submit your application.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ You are not changing your name, gender, date of birth, or place of birth.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ You are not traveling internationally for at least 8 weeks from the date you will submit your application.โ€ฏThey are not offering emergency passport renewal service during this online beta release.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ You are applying for a regular (tourist) passport. You cannot renew a special issuance (diplomatic, official, service) passport online.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ You live in the United States (either state or territory). You do not qualify to renew online if you live in a foreign countryโ€ฏor have an Army Post Office (APO) or Fleet Post Office (FPO) address.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ You have your passport with you, and it is not damaged or mutilated, and you have not previously reported it as lost or stolen. Keep your most recent passport and do not mail it to them.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ You can pay for your passport using a credit or debit card.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ You can upload a digital passport photo.
๐Ÿ›๏ธ You are aware that the passport you are renewing will be canceled after you submit your application and you cannot use it for international travel.

Here is the link – – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/have-passport/renew-online.html#Step%20One

If you do not qualify to renew your passport online, then you’ll have to renew by mail or in person at a passport agency or center.

Since this is a beta release, the US State Department says it will also limit the number of renewal applications accepted each day over the next several months to monitor if the systems capabilities.

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NEW FUTURE PASSPORT OFFICES

On June 19, the US State Department announced that Six cities will be getting full-service U.S. passport offices for the first time – https://www.state.gov/expanding-passport-agencies-across-the-united-states/

The new passport agencies will open in six cities: Charlotte, NC; Cincinnati, OH; Kansas City, MO; Orlando, FL; Salt Lake City, UT; and San Antonio, TX.

Why? Because in 2023, the State Department issued a record 24 million passport books and passport cards and were always severely backlogged.

The six new offices would bring the total number of full-service passport offices nationally to 35.

Opening dates have not been announced yet – but a few more full-service offices will definitely help with overwhelm of people needing an emergency renewal and the inevitable backlogs (especially since the US State Department restarted the online passport renewal program on June 12th – as first mentioned in this video).

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SURPRISE

According to the World Tourism Organization, the top 10 most visited countries in 2023 were:
๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ USA
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Turkiye (Turkey)
๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China
๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece

I’m not at all surprised by the top 10 most visited countries, especially that Europe continues to grab the top spots. However, I’m planning something big in 2025… I’m calling it Europe 101 and I’ll be hosting trips to my favorite European countries:
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal in September 2025 (Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve)
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain in September 2025 (Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia)
๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece in October 2025 (Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini)

I’m still finalizing the details, but get on my VIP list for the country of your choice by commenting below or sending an email to SelfishMe Travel – and you’ll be the first to know.

 

 

 

Click on the links to learn more About Me and my Travel Planning Services and/or Join My Email List for weekly updates, information, and inspiration.

 

 

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Danielle Lewis

Danielle Lewis is a Travel Agent/Advisor who specializes in helping busy Women plan customized Culinary and Wildlife vacations worldwide. #GoSeeDoBe #SelfishMeTravel

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