Survey: U.S. Least Friendly Country to Travelers
Travel Blog • Michael Yessis • 11.21.06 | 7:31 AM ET
It’s rude immigration officials and difficulty obtaining travel documents—not to mention the country’s current image in most of the world—that have travelers avoiding the U.S., according to a survey of 2011 non-U.S. residents released Monday by the Discover America Partnership. “Since 9/11 this country has viewed foreign travellers as more of a threat than an opportunity,” Geoff Freeman, the director of Discover America Partnership, said Monday in a conference call with reporters, according to a Reuters report. “They [border officials] do not understand that foreign travellers are also key to our national security: they go home as ambassadors for our country.”
The Discover America Partnership, as we mentioned previously, is an organization of United States travel industry representatives that seeks to boost the levels of visitors to the country and to enlist Americans as “citizen diplomats.” The organization’s survey, which can be read in full here, is the latest effort to shine a light on what it believes to be a crisis situation.
Travel Industry Association statistics show that the U.S. share in world tourism declined from 7.4 percent in 2000 to 6 percent last year. A one-percentage point increase, according to the association, would mean 7.5 million additional arrivals, $12.3 billion in additional spending, 150,000 additional U.S. jobs, $3.3 billion in additional payroll and $2.1. billion in additional taxes.