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2 May, 2007

War on tourists

This certainly reflects my view.
I was very impressed by New York when I visited in late 2004, but I don't plan to return to the USA, primarily because of the treatment of foreign tourists by Immigration officials and agencies.

I'm not a humble supplicant begging leave to visit the promised land, I'm a potential visitor (with money to spend) to a tourist destination no better or worse than any other. I don't expect an effusive welcome, merely common courtesy; if I'm actively made to feel unwelcome, it's absolutely no hardship to go elsewhere.

It seems I'm not alone, either: the reported poll rated the USA as "the world's most unfriendly destination for foreign travellers" by a 2:1 margin, and the US government's obstructiveness, even hostility, has cost 94 billion tourist dollars and 194,000 US jobs since 2001.

As the quote cited in Boing Boing says, "visiting the US [has] become a hassle and that [we will] take [our] holiday money elsewhere".

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