What a terrible idea. As I’ve said before, if Vegas and Disney want a marketing budget let them do it themselves like other businesses. I’ve been charged fees like this before with some countries and it’s never in rich countries. It’s small time and adds another hassle to travel. The idea that it will help international marketing is laughable. Everyone who travels already knows that coming into the US is an enormous hassle, especially since the US added in new visa requirements for places like Europe. Slapping an additional $10 charge only adds to the insult. Obama was a fool for signing this and he should expect the EU and other regions to return the favor for Americans very soon.
Sorry to say but in a global competitive travel market, the US is not a friendly place to visit. It’s expensive and it’s a hassle. There are too many other countries who are much more welcoming. Let’s just call this the Don’t Bother to Travel to the US Act.
“We generally oppose tourism taxes, which this is,” said Steve Lott, a North America spokesman for the International Air Transport Association, which represents 230 airlines worldwide. “We’re concerned about retaliatory action by other countries.”
Lott added that national resources would best be directed toward addressing barriers faced by global travelers in the United States. For example, cutting the time required for foreigners to obtain a visa and minimizing security hassles at U.S. airports would do much to improve perceptions about traveling to America, Lott said.
The non-profit U.S. Travel Association said there has been a drop in overseas travel to the United States each year since the September 11, 2001, attacks. Last year, 2.4 million fewer overseas visitors came to the United States than in 2000, it said.