A few months back, I found out that non-Americans coming to the United States were being charged a $10 fee to enter because of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, a bill that was overwhelming approved in both branches of the U.S. Legislature on a bipartisan vote.
I cannot stand such ticky-tack crap.
Mind you, I am extremely cheap. But I know people that aren’t. And no one seems to like ridiculous little charges, no matter how small. It’s just petty.
Customs is your first impression of a country. How they treat you is important. (*cough* TSA *cough*). It are those experiences that stay with you. I saw an interview of a Pakistani actor and his entire explanation of his two trips to America hinged on how he was treated by airport employees.
If we want tourists to be spending money in the States, does it really help to make them feel like the United States government is treating them like an airline in the red, charging for baggage, drinks, fuel surcharges, etc.?
It just seems wrong to charge visitors. It isn’t welcoming. It isn’t the welcoming I would want or want to give. And Europe wasn’t particularly happy about it.
If you agree with me, contact your representative and senators, as I have.
I sent the following to Rep. Rick Larsen, Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.
I would like to complain about the Travel Promotion Act of 2009.
I think that there are better ways for us to be funding costs rather than charging tourists for entering our country. It does not seem to me to be a welcoming way to invite people into the United States and could cause people to be willing to spend less money in the country, due to a negative psychological effect of already feeling like they have had to pay to enter.
I also do not like the idea of having to have to pay reciprocity fees in other countries.
All-in-all, I find it a very unwelcome way to bring people into our country. I do not want the United States to take the mentality of an airline.
If you’re an American citizen who does not know who is representing you in DC, you can always check whoismyrepresentative.com, which can tell you by state or zip code.
Make your voice heard, whether it is on this or something else. It’s what our system is based on.