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Thread: $10 Tourist Fee???

  1. #1
    Striving for balance Array Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Jun 2008

    Default $10 Tourist Fee???

    Okay, I am not a credulous person, and so I believe this is a rumor/joke/mistake/stupid thing. However, I just want to check.


    United States considering $10 "tourist fee" to pay for promoting tourism

    by Scott Carmichael (RSS feed) on Sep 5th 2009 at 1:00PM

    A proposal currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress may soon charge visitors to the United States a $10 entry fee.

    The fee will go into a fund used to pay for promoting tourism. By now, I can imagine you are laughing about this (unless you don't live in the U.S.). The concept of having tourists pay for the PR activities of a country they are already visiting is completely insane.

    The idea behind the bill is that promoting tourism should not cost the U.S. taxpayer, something I completely disagree with.

    The European Union is obviously against the concept, and given the hassles tourists already encounter when they come to the country, I have to agree with them.

    The $10 tourism sponsorship fee would be linked to the ESTA pre-registration system currently required for all visitors from visa waiver countries. When ESTA was introduced, foreigners were told that it would always be free, and by hiding the new fee as a "tourism sponsorship fee", the government obviously thinks they are keeping their word. The site currently says that there may be a fee in the future.

    A family of five will have to pay $50, just for the right to travel to the States, in addition to any new luggage fees imposed by the airlines. This means a trip to the United States could start costing about $400 more than it used to - a price many people may simply refuse to pay, making them head elsewhere instead.

    As always in the tit-for-tat world of immigration, if the U.S. pushes ahead with this, expect other nations to do the same to Americans heading abroad.

    The end result could easily be a really well filled tourism promotion fund, but another slump in tourism and American tourists having to pay a reciprocal fee whenever they visit Europe.

    One other thing to keep in mind, is that this fee (if implemented through ESTA) will most likely require a debit or credit card, something not everyone abroad possesses. ESTA itself is a horrible system, because it requires a computer to access, locking out anyone without Internet access. Now the penalty could be double - you'll need Internet access and a credit card if you want to visit the US of A.

    The bill in question, and all details about the proposal can be found here: Travel promotion act of 2009. The bill calls for a non-profit company to manage the money, and proposes to fund it with $100,000,000 in its first year.
    Now I have never heard of this website before; rather, I read this in the German news, and checked Google to see if it was really accurate.

    ***hoping this is just a bad joke, but perhaps someone can enlighten me***

    Let me get this straight:

    a) America wants to entice more tourists.
    b) America wants to make an advertising campaign.
    c) America expects tourists to pay for this campaign with a fee.


    Yes, this must be inaccurate. No one could be that stupid. Not even Congress.

    So let me understand. Before we enter the United States, my husband would now have to:

    a) Say where he is going to stay with address and phone number.
    b) Eye scan and fingerprint scan
    c) Register online before the flight (72 hours in advance)
    d) Pay to enter the country (if this passes).

    RIDICULOUS. Way to kill the tourist industry.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  2. #2
    eating bugs out of hair. Array prplchknz's Avatar
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    Jun 2007


    I'm becoming more and more convince that something's more sinister is going on like the government here wants to fuck up this country. but just make it look like they're trying to fix the problem. either that or the government is really,really stupid. either way it sucks.
    by @magpie

  3. #3
    triple nerd score Array poppy's Avatar
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    May 2009


    Wow. That's really dumb.

    EDIT: It's like the opposite of an advertising campaign. "Come to America---where we hassle you with bureaucracy whenever you try to do anything"
    "There's no need to be embarrassed about it, Mr. Spock. It happens to the birds and the bees!"

  4. #4
    Order Now! Array pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    Maybe the Obama Administration is trying a little reverse psychology? We can make the USA seem so cool that we CHARGE ADMISSION to come into the country now.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #5
    Away with the fairies Array Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    That's ridiculous.

    Yes, the US have spent a piffling amount on promoting tourism in the past and I think it has more to do with the government's priorities than lack of funds. I read this article about a while back (I can't find it now) about how the US don't value their tourists. It said the US government spend US$4 million annually on promoting tourism. New Zealand spent by comparism around US$30 million. Need I compare the GNP of each country to point out how pathetic the US government spending is? Surely if we can muster it without resorting to taxing tourists America can. Also, in the article there was a lot of stories about people who were treated so badly by rude and unsympathetic airport security (and generally being treated like criminals) that many had decided they would never return to the US before even leaving the airport.

    I think the US is really missing out here by a general lack of commitment to tourism. Throwing money at the problem (and taking it from the pocket of tourists might I add) will not solve problems. Its such shame, America has so much to offer for a traveller but they keep driving people away.

  6. #6
    Don't Judge Me! Array Haphazard's Avatar
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    Apr 2008



    I guess they figure that if you can afford to come to the US you can afford the $10 fee, but seriously, that's like bad karma. I'm pretty sure the ones this will mostly hurt is people coming in from Canada just for the weekend or something.

    Especially if Europe wants to make 'retaliatory fees'. No one in the US will go to Europe anymore.

    And anyway I thought the only reason anybody went to the US was because of the weak dollar. I mean, AMERICANS don't even want to tour America. I was pretty sure we didn't have anything worth seeing.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  7. #7
    Priestess Of Syrinx Array Katsuni's Avatar
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    Aug 2009


    The problem is the generalized american mindset. The USA tends to think of itself as "the best country in the world" despite not even ranking in the top 10 in hardly any of the quantifiable, objective descriptors of such, like education, health care, poverty, and so on.

    But this "we're #1!" mentality means that many americans can't even THINK of the concept that maybe someone WOULDN'T want to live in the states. The mere suggestion that they'd rather live elsewhere is just unheard of.

    Personally, I quite like canada, I have no interest in moving to the states, but chances are I'll have to eventually due to the job market. I'm not particularly thrilled about loosing my health care benefits, nor having to put up with americans, or many of the other cultural differences, most of which I consider to be severe losses.

    In any case, this basically means the states just ASSUMES people will come visit it... because it's the states.


    This's why Paris, London, and Vancouver are the top 3 vacation sites in the world. >.>;

    The charging of tourists to pay for their own tourism is kind of silly anyway. They are already there, so they don't need to be advertised to. When they go home, they'll give free advertising to everyone they know if they had a good vacation there. Obviously, charging them for it is kind of pointless since if anything, it'll mean they'll COMPLAIN about their trip there, and therefore LOWER tourism. I can just as easily see many countries using it as an excuse to boycott vacationing in the states entirely. See how much revenue yeu make there.

    The only ones who gain revenue from tourism, are the businesses IN THE COUNTRY THAT GETS THE TOURISTS. And the government because of the taxes they take from these businesses, but that's indirect. And the airlines too I suppose. If anything yeu should be billing the people who would benefit most from tourism, because the more profitable they are, obviously the more tourism they'll want to encourage so that they get even more. Coastal cities especially, and major attractions are primarily best.

    Drop a $1 fee on every single tourist attraction in the states even, like a tiny deposit to see mount rushmoore or a national park, but it only applies to those who are not american citizens, and state that it's a benefit of citizenship due to the fact that their taxes are paying for such. The tourist 'fee' would likely end up HIGHER this way, and wouldn't cause quite as many harsh feelings.

    The states is already looked down upon by pretty much everyone else, being viewed as the snobbish rich brat in class who thinks they're the best person in the world and wants everyone to know it, despite being mediocre at best in everything they do. How accurate this portrait is, is entirely subjective, but that's whot people tend to think of the states as. Why do yeu think that in many cases, americans are told to put canadian flags on their stuff when they go abroad? There's just alot of USA-hate in the world, and unfortunately, alot of it's been earned by the state's own reputation they made for themselves. If there wasn't the "holier-than-thou" pretensiousness, and the excessive saviour-complex, we probably wouldn't have this problem to deal with.

    I know alot of great friends that're american, and know that obviously this isn't the case for the majority. After doing phone support and getting a MASSIVE random sample of thousands of people over several years, I can clearly state that most of the states is quite normal and doesn't deserve the bad rep it has. Except... there literally are maybe 5-10% of the population who are flat out PSYCHO nationalists that would've been die-hard nazi's if they were german, and sadly, these're the ones who scream and yell the loudest, even if they're the minority.

    In any case, charging tourists for something they literally will never use, and provide TO the country? Yeu don't *CHARGE* people for a service *THEY GIVE YEU* that's just stupid. Tourists give free publicity when they go home, and it's obviously not broke from that end (except when yeu harass the tourists until they hate the place) so don't 'fix' it.

  8. #8
    pathwise dependent Array FDG's Avatar
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    There are tourist fees everywhere. There's tourist fees in Venice, and they're planning to apply tourist fees to mountain passed in Tyrol. Anyway, since the USA also has a lot of other requirements for tourist, I hope that this campaign will result in comparatively more tourists for Italy, more money for us.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Feops's Avatar
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    Feb 2009


    This would hurt the northern states some. Going south for gambling/shopping trips are fairly popular with canadian familes but putting a flat $50 against a casual weekend trip could switch some people to buying or seeking out entertainment locally.

    Personally I'm all for it. In fact, double or triple it. I'd much rather see the money reinvested in our own economy.

  10. #10
    Don't Judge Me! Array Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feops View Post
    This would hurt the northern states some. Going south for gambling/shopping trips are fairly popular with canadian familes but putting a flat $50 against a casual weekend trip could switch some people to buying or seeking out entertainment locally.
    Yeah, this fee is probably more like someone had a bad experience with the Canadian border patrol.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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