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11:44 am on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Starting September 8 most visitors to the US from the EU will need to pay $14 for the mandatory visa waiver program.

[bbc.co.uk...]

I think it is a great concept: store all sorts of private data for sharing among government agencies, and have the visitors pay for it themselves! Oh, and use the money to "promote tourism"! </sarcasm>
12:23 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The fee has been introduced to fund a programme which aims to promote tourism in the US and attract foreign spending.


Sorry? Promote tourism?
3:31 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Certainly seems counter-productive. You would think they would just be happy that people are bringing in hard currency when they visit.
3:35 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, we do things backwards here in the States. To try to get more people to come, we obviously charge more. (Los Angeles is trying to do the same thing- get an additional transient tax added to hotel bills and use that money to promote L.A. as a destination.)

Most likely, it's going to backfire (ya think?!), plus other countries will start charging (or increasing their fees) for U.S. tourists.
3:41 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Governments around the world are looking for new ways to raise much needed revenue.

I'm not in the least bit surprised about this charge, but, I do find it questionable about it being to promote tourism. If they'd come out and said it's to cover admin of the system, then, I think i'd believe it a little more.
3:53 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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added to hotel bills and use that money to promote L.A. as a destination


This practice is not limited to the US.
4:01 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Los Angeles is trying to do the same thing- get an additional transient tax added to hotel bills and use that money to promote L.A. as a destination.

In my area the city council has seriously considered an "axle tax" for entering the city. Thankfully it has not (yet) gained enough traction to actually put it up for a vote.
4:26 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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They might be smarter trying to tax people LEAVING the city.

Oops- didn't mean to give them any ideas!
6:22 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's bad - but they are cashing in on the idea that people will not back out of visiting for a $14 charge.
7:10 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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They might be smarter trying to tax people LEAVING the city

Many years ago I visited a country that levied an exit tax.

The sum was tiny, it was one of the poorest countries on Earth, and I had a great time there, so I didn't mind - but I always wondered what would have happened if I had been unwilling or unable to pay.

...
7:20 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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They might be smarter trying to tax people LEAVING the city.


It's done here... Twenty bucks a head, ka-ching! There used to be a separate payment booth at the airport, now airlines incorporate it in the price of a ticket.
8:19 pm on Aug 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Cuba has an exit tax too. I want to say it was $20 as well. You have to pay it before you get to the departure lounge so I am sure there would be no way out of it.
 

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