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Oh, Yeah, This Will Work…

We have seen a brutal drop in foreign tourists along the Gulf Coast since they changed all of the rules after 9/11. It became too expensive, and too traumatic to consider dealing with the US border for a vacation. It’s almost to the point that if you hear someone speaking a foreign language around here, it’s safe to assume that they’re undocumented, because they are the only ones who have figured out the new system.

So, now the “powers that be” have noticed and decided to do something about it: Bill for U.S. travel promotion organization headed to president’s desk

A $10 fee charged to visitors from countries included in the Visa Waiver Program who don’t have to apply and pay for visas will partially fund the public-private organization. These visitors will pay the fee every two years when they register online using the Department of Homeland Security’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

That’s right, make the people who want to come pay for ads begging them to come.

It is a giant PITA to come to the US from the civilized world, and they don’t want to address any of the problems of the system, but they want those willing to put up with the aggravation to pay for advertising.

A news flash – everything is not a marketing problem with a marketing solution.


1 cookie jill { 02.26.10 at 9:01 pm }

Traditionally, we could always tell how our local economy is doing by the various accents we have floating around town. There is also traditional seasonal employment for (some reason) the Irish and Brazilians. (That employment dipped during the Bush years as it was harder to get into the country…)

I had a temp job up at SBCity College the other week, and there is a boatload of Swedes, Japanese and Chinese taking classes up there.
.-= last blog ..Go Suomi! =-.

2 Bryan { 02.26.10 at 9:11 pm }

We always had a lot of Canadians and Germans here in the winter, but not since the rules changed. I’ve seen three Canadian license plates since November, and a lot of Canadians own winter homes and condos down here.

We don’t see nearly as many out-of-state plates as were common in the 1990s.

3 Kryten42 { 02.26.10 at 10:54 pm }

Ummm… *SHAKIN’ HEAD*!! 🙄

4 Bryan { 02.26.10 at 11:14 pm }

People still remember the “shrimp on the barby” ad, and that was years ago. That’s effective advertising.

“Ignore the strip search” doesn’t have quite the same appeal. 😈

5 Badtux { 02.27.10 at 1:40 am }

My favorite watering hole in the desert was pretty much deserted last time I was there. The foreign tourists who usually hole up there are gone. If it wasn’t for the fact that they’re a family business that doesn’t have high overhead, they’d be gone too, but if this keeps up they’re going to run out of money for diesel to keep the generator going and that’ll be it, end of story (no electrical service out there of course).

And in the midst of all this, what is Preznit Hopey Changey doing? Well… signing a new extension of the Patriot Act that puts into place all those bullshit rules that are keeping the tourists away. Preznit Hopey Changey ain’t dumber than a boxa rocks like the last Preznit, but he sure seems to forget that life exists outside the Beltway Bubble on a regular basis (spit).

– Badtux the Desert Penguin

6 hipparchia { 02.27.10 at 3:15 am }

“Ignore the strip search” doesn’t have quite the same appeal.

that explains a few things. i’ve seen a few out of state license plates this year, and one or two from canada. i guess they’re the ones who come here for the nude beach. 😈

7 Bryan { 02.27.10 at 11:43 am }

If they don’t know anyone with a particular problem, the problem doesn’t exist, Badtux. When the government is made up of people who know more about the cost of private kindergartens than tattered books in public schools, you shouldn’t expect education funding. Politics is so centered on money anymore, that the campaign funds available is one of the major benchmarks for candidate success, more important than polls of probable voters.

Obama is apparently afraid of the bad things Republicans will say about him if he tries to add a little sanity to the so-called security. He refuses to accept that it is their “job” to say bad things about the incumbents of the other party. It’s called politics.

I guess the evangelicals needed some place to go, Hipparchia, and a nude beach would be a big draw.

This county decided to be “family friendly”, so all of the activity shifted to Panama City.

8 hipparchia { 02.27.10 at 11:05 pm }

This county decided to be “family friendly”, so all of the activity shifted to Panama City.

my county did too, for which i’m happy actually. i don’t miss the drunk college kids drag racing the wrong way on the 3 mile bridge, for instance. the funny thing is that the ‘family friendly’ atmosphere, while it has taken a bite out of it, has not entirely dealt a death blow to our status a one of the gay meccas in the country, which is good since they spend lots of money here, don’t drag race over the bridges [well, not in cars anyway], and make the fundies’ heads explode.

9 Bryan { 02.27.10 at 11:40 pm }

Yeah, it is a real hoot, that Pensacola was selected.

I keep telling people that gay marriage is the way to go. Lots of money to be made and we need someone to stay in all the empty condos.