Saturday, July 5, 2008

Less foreign tourists visiting USA

Despite the weak U.S. dollar, a boom in international travel around the world hasn't translated into an explosion of foreign tourists to the United States. Part of the problem is the perception of frosty U.S. attitudes toward foreigners starting at customs, said Roger Dow, president of the Travel Industry Association. That and other factors make it difficult to attract more overseas travelers. The U.S. should decode its complex entry rules and boost staffing at customs checkpoints, Dow and others said. "The perception is in spades that we're less welcoming" than other countries, he said. Yes, indeed. I know that a lot of Brits are going to other destinations for their holidays instead of the USA and this is mostly due to the way foreigners are treated (such as the fingerprinting of foreign visitors and the incredibly frosty reception) when they arrive at American airports. Visitors are made to feel like criminals, so is it any wonder so many tourists are deciding to go elsewhere? How would you rank the USA as a traveler-friendly destination compared to other countries? Have you decided to stay away from the USA? If so, why?

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