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.