Most Unfriendly Country To Visit: USA - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Most Unfriendly Country To Visit: USA

Combine this achievement with the prospect of required exit visa's for citizens and what have you got?

Bot

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U.S.A. is most unfriendly country to visitors, survey says
Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:07 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rude immigration officials and visa delays keep millions of foreign visitors away from the United States, hurt the country's already battered image, and cost the U.S. billions of dollars in lost revenue, according to an advocacy group formed to push for a better system.

To drive home the point, the Discover America Partnership released the result of a global survey on Monday which showed that international travelers see the United States as the world's worst country in terms of getting a visa and, once you have it, making your way past rude immigration officials.

The survey, of 2,011 international travelers in 16 countries, was conducted by RT Strategies, a Virginia-based polling firm, for the Discover America Partnership, a group launched in September with multimillion-dollar backing from a range of companies that include the InterContinental Hotels Group, Anheuser Busch and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The survey showed that the United States was ranked "the worst" in terms of visas and immigration procedures by twice the percentage of travelers as the next destination regarded as unfriendly -- the Middle East and the Asian subcontinent.

More than half of the travelers surveyed said U.S. immigration officials were rude and two-thirds said they feared they would be detained on arriving in the United States for a simple mistake in their paperwork or for saying the wrong thing to an immigration official.

The survey was taken between October 25 and November 9 against the backdrop of growing concern in parts of the U.S. business community over a steady decline in the number of foreigners visiting the United States.

"Between 2000 and 2006, the number of overseas visitors, excluding those from Mexico and Canada, has declined by 17 percent," said Geoff Freeman, executive director of the Discover America Partnership, "and business travel in that period has dropped 10 percent."

Travel Industry Association statistics show that the U.S. share in world tourism declined from 7.4 percent in 2000 to 6 percent last year. A one-percentage point increase, according to the association, would mean 7.5 million additional arrivals, $12.3 billion in additional spending, 150,000 additional U.S. jobs, $3.3 billion in additional payroll and $2.1. billion in additional taxes.

With about 50 million visitors a year, the United States is the world's third most-popular destination, after Spain and France.

"The problem is that since September 11, this country has viewed visitors more as a threat than an opportunity," Freeman said. "The entry process has created a climate of fear and frustration that is keeping foreign visitors away."

"Unless Congress understands there is a problem, nothing will be done ... though it wouldn't take much to make a change," Freeman said
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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 07:00 PM
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I doubt very much that the vast majority of Americans give a damn about that, unless it directly affects their pocket book.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 07:04 PM
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Like the rest of our economy, we'll be outsourcing our US tourism industry, shortly.
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by deathrattle
I doubt very much that the vast majority of Americans give a damn about that, unless it directly affects their pocket book.
I might not care much about herds of German and British tourists here, but my family from Europe have the same problems with coming for a visit.
Rudeness by government employees is very common problem.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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I doubt very much that the vast majority of Americans give a damn about that, unless it directly affects their pocket book.
I agree. In fact, I'm not sure whether or not I give a damn whether foreigners visit. I don't mean that in a derogatory way. As you accurately observed, this is likely because my life and work isn't impacted by, nor does it have much impact on, foreign visitors. Not that I am in any way hostile to foreign tourists. Heck, the few times I've run into foreign tourists I have enjoyed meeting them and I feel reasonably certain that I didn't leave too revolting an impression.

My general advice to foreigners visiting the USA is that everything, everything you heard is true. Somewhere. We are a big and very diverse nation of willfully ignorant people. as a result, you can find what you expect to see.

It doesn't disturb me at all that most Americans are apathetic towards foreign tourism. It does disturb me that the government is monkeying around with the tempting thought of abridging the citizen's right to travel. Who the f*ck are they?

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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 07:21 PM
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There is nothing to do here anyway and not coming here will save them from observing our ignorance.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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There is nothing to do here anyway and not coming here will save them from observing our ignorance.
What, you don't think we've concealed it, do you?

The best way to counter (and reinforce) strange ideas about the USA is by encouraging American citizens to travel and to encourage foreigners to come here. It's a double-edged sword. But the alternative is belief derived from ignorance. That is the worst sort of belief system, IMO. That the gov would do things to encourage ignorance is ... par for the gov.

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 07:32 PM
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What, you don't think we've concealed it, do you?

The best way to counter (and reinforce) strange ideas about the USA is by encouraging American citizens to travel and to encourage foreigners to come here. It's a double-edged sword. But the alternative is belief derived from ignorance. That is the worst sort of belief system, IMO. That the gov would do things to encourage ignorance is ... par for the gov.

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Have you ever met Americans abroad? Let it speak for itself
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Professor
Have you ever met Americans abroad? Let it speak for itself

you and DR are spot on. sad but true and bot seems to be the ambassador.. i sure hope they save their money and go see someplace that's worthwile and they are appreciated.. USA is definitely not the place.



in political asylum

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 08:19 PM
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Professor,

I've been living in Europe for the last 5 years. You dont have to meet any Americans over here, you can HEAR them before you see them.


For the record, I am American, but I can see how this ranking could be accurate, every time I go back to the US I'm surprised at how "in your face" things are in the US. I think part of the observation that most visitors experience has a lot to do with how loud American airports are. The last time I was home, I flew into Miami - while waiting for my bags I actually got a headache from all the noise around me. That is very disturbing if you dont experience it on a daily basis. Dont take that statement as harsh as it sounds, I'm just trying to explain my impression of one small part of what "non" US citizens experience when the arrive.

Last edited by mon-004o; 11-20-2006 at 08:25 PM.
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