Via Atrios, it seems that our plan to build a Berlin Wall-style border fence, arbitrarily lock up and deport unskilled laborers, and probe, prod, and generally hassle everyone who wants to set foot on American soil is impacting travel patterns in predictable ways:
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The number of foreign visitors to the
United Stateshas plummeted since the September 11, 2001 attacks on New Yorkand because foreigners don't feel welcome, tourism professionals said Thursday. Washington
"Since September 11, 2001, the
United Stateshas experienced a 17 percent decline in overseas travel, costing 94 billion dollars in lost visitor spending, nearly 200,000 jobs and 16 billion dollars in lost tax revenue," the Discover America advocacy campaign said in a statement. America
It’s good to see the business-friendly Bush administration working its trademark administrative magic to improve the competitiveness of American corporations in an ever-more connected world.
Chairman Stevan Porter lamented the "extraordinary decline" in the number of overseas visitors to the
United States, while the advocacy group's executive director, Geoff Freeman, blamed the slump on the shabby welcome many foreigners feel they get in the . United States
"It's clear what's keeping people away in the post-9/11 environment: it is the perception around the world that travelers aren't welcome," Freeman told AFP.
"Travelers around the world feel the
USentry experience is among the world's worst," Freeman said, calling on the government to work with the private sector to make visa acquisition more efficient, the entry process traveler-friendly, and to improve communication. US
Traveling to a place, meeting the people who live there, and experiencing their hospitality in person typically improves a traveler’s perceptions of the place, perceptions that would otherwise be premised on abstraction and rumor. We’ve removed that option for many, and made travel difficult and sometimes humiliating for those for whom the option remains. We’ve even stopped our own leaders from traveling freely, showing that our entry policies long ago lost touch with reality.
Last year, only 56 percent of Britons had a positive opinion of the
compared with 83 percent in 2000, the Pew Global Attitudes report for 2006 shows. United States
Thirty-nine percent of French people saw the
in a positive light last year, compared with 62 percent in 2000. United States
Turkey12 percent had good things to say about the last year -- 40 percentage points down on 2000. United States
These are our ostensible allies.
The cycle we’ve been stuck in for most of my lifetime, but especially since 9/11, of distrust and alienation is not sustainable. It’s up to us to change this country in which we live.