A proposal currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress may soon charge visitors to the United States a $10 entry fee.
The basic idea behind the bill is that promoting tourism should not cost the U.S. taxpayer, something I completely disagree with.
The European Union is obviously against the concept, and given the hassles tourists already encounter before entering the U.S, I have to agree with them.
If implemented the $10 tourism sponsorship fee would be linked to the ESTA pre-registration system currently required for all visitors from visa waiver countries. A family of five will have to pay $50, just for the right to travel to the States, in addition to any new luggage fees imposed by the airlines.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this fee (if implemented through ESTA) will most likely require a debit or credit card, something not everyone abroad possesses. ESTA itself is a horrible system, because it requires a computer to access, locking out anyone without Internet access. Now the penalty could be double – you’ll need Internet access and a credit card if you want to visit the US of A.
For more details about the proposal bill can be found here: Travel promotion act of 2009.
At least leaving is still free. And so is entering Dominica.
That’s actually not so unusual. Some countries charge fees entering AND leaving (Indonesia, for one).
It may be free to enter Dominica, but the Commonwealth charges a departure tax of EC$20 when a person stays for more than 24 hours. In my opinion there’s little difference between the two.
Linda, Dominica’s departure tax is EC$55; US$20.
The especially stupid thing about this plan is that it’s to benefit giant corporations like Disney. Why is the U.S. raising a tax, even on foreigners, to subsidize huge corporations? Consider that every dollar taken from arriving foreigners is one they won’t have to spend in shops, taxis, restaurants, local services, etc. Ultimately, it takes from small tourism-related American businesses and gives it to large ones.
Yeah. I heard about this a while ago and sent a nasty note to my congressman. This idea is just dumb. It SHOULD cost the taxpayers to have tourists as it BENEFITS the taxpayers to have tourists! Just dumb, dumb, dumb!
I do not like the idea. And this just continues to show that the US is reinforcing the belief that it is not reaching out enough to the rest of the world.
But can the US get away with it without affecting tourists coming in? Yep. In the age of the recession, governments and corporations are seeking innovative ways of giving you a blow below the belt to increase their revenues. See what the airlines have gotten away with, with all these fees, including fees to change or select a seat or check in a bag? For the most part, people have sucked it up! If you want to travel you will travel.
But lets get real. Yes, the reason the US is putting forward for collecting the fees is just plain dumb. It could have said it was just a tax. Maybe that would be more palatable. After all, many many countries around the world have a taxes to be paid at the airport, although it is usually a departure tax. I don’t think any of these countries, including Dominica would attract more or less tourists if that tax was removed. For the average tourists its just something to accept.
Many people trying to enter the US often incur hundreds of dollars in expenses just to get a visa. I think those people would still come if the visa application fee was increased by $20. So there are many ways the US could have disguised the fee without affecting its image.
Again I dont support the proposed fee, and the reason given is just poor PR but I think tourists will still keep coming, though a very small percentage may want to think twice.