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Thread: U.S. most unfriendly country to visitors

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default U.S. most unfriendly country to visitors

    U.S. is most unfriendly country to visitors, survey says
    1 hour, 19 minutes ago

    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.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061120/us_nm/usa_image_dc
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    "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."
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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Yep. It's even worse when you were born here. It's like that everywhere there is a governement entity envolved. Why can't they hire nicer people? I would gladly have someone tell me I am fucked with a smile on their face than with a smirk and spit flying between their teeth.

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    GW ain't helping matters either....

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    i believe it; just look at the way New Yorkers treated Borat

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    i've been to the US a LOT, travelling and also transiting through and i have to agree. while i've never had problems with normal people - in fact i've always found americans very friendly - i have to agree about immigration officers. and they were already assholes before 9-11 but it's even worse since. i have a diplomatic passport and courtesy visa so i have half the hassle of people with normal passports and even so, i find them rude and hostile.
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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised, it's consistent with what all of my friends who've ever travelled to the US have told me.

    Oh well, it's a big planet, plenty of non-rude places to visit!

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    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    I always crap my pants at US customs. They give me the feeling that I'm going to be deportet any minute. Also, they left me in Canada once while my whole family was let in and I had to spent two nights in a motel at the border, because my visa had expired ONE day before.

    Other unfriendly immigration officials:

    Honduras
    France
    Denmark
    Hungary
    Zimbabwe

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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    well to all you non-americans who visit here, please dont be offended by US customs agents; they're bottom-feeders and get a kick out of their so-called 'power' and they only wish they had the money to travel abroad like you so ignore their shit and know that I too hate fucking traveling in my own country partly b/c of airport/airline employee asshats like that.

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    I travelled to the US several times and admit I never found the immigration officials any more/less welcoming than immigration assholes in other places. If you want a MAJOR attitude problem try visiting the Caribbean where they love to pore over every single page of your passport closely studying all the visa stamps while completely ignoring you or, bizarrely, New Zealand where they take enormous pleasure in watching the queue of waiting passengers grow longer and longer while they close down desks so there's only 3 officers processing 300 people. Last time we went to Auckland it took over 2 hours to get out of the airport - almost as long as the flight!
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    I've found both Cdn and American custom officials -- in fact, all customs types -- to be assholes on occasion, but since 9/11 the American officials have turned into Nazis. That said, I'm glad Vancouver airport finally got smart and implemented resident and non-resident lineups a few years ago.

    I missed more than one flight in years gone by because I got behind a family of 10 who were trying to immigrate. There was no point in changing lines because they were all the same. I mean, c'mon!
    Last edited by pacific breeze; November 21st, 2006 at 04:26 PM.

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Canadian customs are major ass holes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They give me such a hard time, I'm a tourist, not a terrorist!

    I've never really had any issues with US customs personally...

    New Zealand where they take enormous pleasure in watching the queue of waiting passengers grow longer and longer while they close down desks so there's only 3 officers processing 300 people.
    lol, I remember this, their airport looks like a warehouse!

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    Elite Member Lobelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    I always crap my pants at US customs.


    And btw, you're so well-travelled! I wish I was...
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I blame it on W and the Patriot Act. Why the HELL would I go vacation in a country where, just because of my skin color and last name, I might be held in jail indefinitely, without benefit of counsel, with no charges being filed ever? Why?
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    A*O
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    I agree - the Patriot Act seems to be a legalised form of racism IMO which gives airport officials with a Napoleon complex a major hardon.
    I've never liked lesbianism - it leaves a bad taste in my mouth
    Dame Edna Everage

    Just because you're offended doesn't mean you're right.

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