Our goal is to create mutual understanding through professional and cultural experiences that connect El Pasoans and visitors from around the world. We do this by hosting events and excursions that allow our international guests to spend time with local residents who are also engaged global citizens.
WHAT WE DO.
The El Paso Council for International Visitors, or EPCIV for short, has received foreign dignitaries since 1961. We work in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. embassies worldwide to welcome emerging leaders from other countries. Our international guests are touring the United States with the goal of better understanding our country and its people. Visitors spend three-to-four weeks traveling the U.S. at our government's expense. They will tour four-to-six American cities where they are greeted and hosted by local councils like EPCIV.
EPCIV is one of many councils that belong to U.S. Global Ties. More than a hundred heads-of-state and over six-hundred foreign cabinet ministers have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program. Past dignitaries have included leaders such as Margaret Thatcher and Anwar Sadat.
Most of our international visitors are mid-level managers who are rising stars in their chosen professions, including positions in government, education, journalism, and business. They typically range in age from 35-55 years old, are well-educated, and often have traveled extensively. While in the U.S., they visit businesses, government offices, and private sector agencies that correlate with their careers in their home countries. While most of our guests speak English, they are always accompanied by an escort from the U.S. Department of State who also acts as an interpreter if needed.
Each visitor and escort receives a per diem allowance of approximately $250 to cover lodging, meals, local transportation, and incidentals while traveling. One visitor and one escort who spend two nights and three days in El Paso will probably spend around $500 in our city. The financial impact to the local economy of, for example, 100 EPCIV visitors a year would be a minimum of $75,000. Additionally, our visitors are interested in improving economic links between the U.S. and their countries, therefore our local business professionals often gain valuable new insights into international markets.