The European Union is upset about plans by the United States to implement new travel fees for visa-waiver tourists. This $10 fee is part of the Travel Promotion Act which would be put in place in order to help fund a world tourism project that would increase the number of visitors to the US by better communicating America’s security policies and competing for visitors.
The EU has already protested and stated they will take retaliatory stances if this new fee is put into place. Democrat representative William Delahunt who is a sponsor of the bill believes they are arguing over nothing stating that it is a nominal fee. There has already been much controversy earlier in the year when the US began requiring people travelling to the country under the waiver program to register online at a minimum of 72 hours before travel and renew their registration every two years. Europeans see these new policies as more hassles to get into the country and there has been some speculation that this may cause the EU to implement visa requirements for US visitors.
In defense of the bill, the following was stated:
“Our nation’s economy is struggling and international travel promotion is part of the solution. This much-needed legislation will help the United States to create thousands of new jobs and welcome billions in new spending by international visitors.“
Roger Dow, CEO and President of the U.S. Travel Association
The Government claims that the funding will come strictly from private sector contributions and the new Promotion Act fees. Foreign travelers who pay for visa fees will not be required to pay the Travel Promotion Act fees nor will any fees be imposed on US tax-payers. The US attracts millions of foreign visitors per year. In recent years those numbers are said to have been down slightly due to the many security changes and procedures put in place ever since 9/11. This bill is said to be a great way to not only increase funding to build the economy, but also will aid in educating foreign visitors through all the steps and processes required to enter the country so it will be less of a hassle for them and not more. Many democrats and republicans have shown strong support for the bill.
Skeptics have argued whether the process works or not, it doesn’t seem to be the best way to lure tourists by stating they will have to pay extra costs to get into the country.