“America the Unwelcoming”

December 16, 2007

It’s been announced that the United States is the only major country to which travel has declined in 2006.  Why?  Because well, we’re not exactly greeting foreign visitors with open arms, according to “America the Unwelcoming“, a recent Newsweek article.

“According to the Commerce Department, the United States is the only major country in the world to which travel has declined in the midst of a global tourism boom. And this is not about Arabs or Muslims. The number of Japanese visiting the United States declined from 5 million in 2000 to 3.6 million last year. The numbers have begun to increase, but by 2010 they’re still projected to be 19 percent below 2000 levels. During this same span (2000–2010), global tourism is expected to grow by 44 percent.”

The litany of indignities and worse suffered by visitors is ridiculous; however, the fact that “no one wants to be the person who lets in the next terrorist” is given as the main reason for this problem.  Yes, terrorism is awful and horrible, but is locking our doors and throwing away the key really the answer to the problem?  Yet another brilliant tactic from our fear-mongering Department of Homeland Security.

If you’re in the mood for some unintentional comedy, check out the comments section.  Say what you will about new media, but at least it’s democratic – even Newsweek has to deal with trolls.