Increased security since the terror attacks of 2001 has made it more difficult for visitors to get into the United States. For the past eight years, the foreign press has been full of horror stories about people saying they were detained and mistreated at our borders and in our airports, and our tourism industry continues to struggle.
The answer to this, clearly, is to charge those foreign people an extra $10 to get into the country. Then we should use that money to tell people what a great country it is and urge them to visit it. Assuming they are stupid people who will believe advertising over news reports.
This seems to me the thinking behind the Travel Promotion Act, just passed by the Senate. Its prospects in the House are uncertain.
The travel industry is supporting this bill, and no wonder.
I’m not against promoting the United States as a tourist destination. It just seems pointless unless we also address the visitors’ concerns about the way they are treated. Why not spend at least some of the $10 fees on improving that?