There’s nothing that annoys me more than a “visa” fee when it’s really not necessary. Heck, what ticks me off even more are “tourist fees.” Isn’t deciding to visit a country and drop money in that country’s economy enough of a “fee?” Well of course the US Congress has a brilliant idea, in the form of charging a $10 travel fee for visitors to the US from visa waiver countries. Why? To finance a new program to promote travel to the US!
This is beyond ridiculous in my mind. The US is already seen as unwelcoming to most of the rest of the world, and charging people to visit our country certainly won’t help that perception. I couldn’t agree more with this statement:
“Only in `Alice in Wonderland’ could a penalty be seen as promoting the activity on which it is imposed,” the European Commission’s Ambassador to Washington, John Bruton, said in a statement Friday.
I expect the loonies in Washington to come up with this stuff, but who else supports it? Bill Marriott. Check out his thoughts on this proposal. There are so many gems in here, like this one:
We’re really enthusiastic because this legislation would create a public-private partnership to promote the U.S. as a travel destination and educate international travelers on our policies here in the United States for security.
I just don’t get the feeling that charging foreigners $10 so we can teach them about our safety policies will make them want to visit.
Interestingly enough he also mentions this:
Overseas visitors spend about $4,500 per person, per trip in our country — think of all the tax revenue for state, local, and federal governments to pay for public services. What a terrific economic stimulus this will be!
Exactly, and that’s why we shouldn’t charge people to visit our country! That, along with training our immigration officers to not be rude jackasses to visitors, let alone treat them like criminals.
I just don’t get it….