US Response To Massive Decline In Foreign Travelers: Keep Crazy Policies, But Set Up Ad Campaign
from the uh,-yeah dept
Sometimes it feels like the US government likes to take incompetence to new levels. It should come as little surprise that foreign tourism to the US is way down. Basically ever since the Patriot Act, visiting the US has become a huge pain for foreign tourists, and with our lovely new “we see you naked or we touch your private parts” strategy for airline passengers (thank you, TSA), it appears that things are getting even worse. So, if you’re the US government, how do you respond? Do you start thinking about modifying such policies to make visiting the US less unwelcoming? Do you start thinking about more effective, but less insulting security procedures? Do you start looking at why those foreign tourists are staying away in droves? The answer appears to be no, no and no.
Instead, you set up a “public/private partnership” to launch an expensive ad campaign and you fund part of it by charging those very tourists to enter the country.
Yes, the US government and the travel industry have teamed up to launch the new “Corporation for Travel Promotion,” (CTP) which will seek to run a huge advertising campaign to foreigners, trying to convince them that once you get past the unfriendly gropers at our borders, the US really is quite nice. The US Travel Association, which is a part of this effort, does say that it would be a good idea to use the CTP to convince the government (which, um, we thought was a part of the CTP) to create a “more efficient and friendly entrance procedure,” but notes that work will be “challenging.” So, for now, it sounds like the main focus will be on advertising how cool the Golden Gate Bridge looks, if you can actually get into the country.