Traveling and tourism traffic are becoming more and more expensive, not to mention complex.
In the recent past, if you wanted to travel, all you had to do was apply for a passport, book a flight, or a passage on a transatlantic boat.
Now there are many options, but also many added inconveniences related to time, also additional expenses mainly due to high-jacking and ever since 9/11 incident in the U S A. High-jacking incidences lead to increased security measures at airports and on cruise ships the expenses of which are borne by each traveller. Airport security checks are time-consuming, inconvenient, bothersome, and expensive.
Cruise boat companies subject all luggages to an x-ray examination and passengers are thoroughly screened. All costs are included in the fare.
Visa requirement in some countries have been in effect for many years to ensure that a tourist has a clean record, or sometimes even free of contagious diseases.
These are obviously valid reasons, but in this day and age with all the information available about terrorists, narcotraffickers and assorted undesirable individuals, border guards and/or customs officers can check anyone’s background with a few keystrokes on a computer on the Internet.
In addition, in many technologically advanced countries passports contain embedded magnetic coded strips that can easily be scanned.
Visas have now become a high source of revenue for many countries i.e China, Russia, and many other countries.
Russia requires ‘in theory” that you provide an invitation by a company in order to visit the country and US $ 50.00 or more per visa. The cost depends who is getting the visa for you, and your citizenship. For a multiple entry visa, you must pay more, much more, and if you want the visa quickly you have to pay even more, although whatever the consulate checks requires the same amount of time.
Visa requirements are sometimes reciprocal, i.e if the citizens of one country are required to have a visa, the other imposes a visa requirement too. Take the case of the Czech republic. Last year for a while many Roma (gypsies) arrived in Canada asking for asylum claiming that they are being discriminated against. In reality Roma were economic migrants, and often became a burden to the treasury. The Canadian government quickly imposed a visa requirement for all Czech citizens, and the Czech Republic in return did the same for Canadian citizens, although no Canadian has ever asked for asylum in that central European republic.
Visa requirements deter tourism traffic. Who wants to apply for a visa, electronically or otherwise, with a picture, and then send in the passport and wait? In some instances passports get lost and the traveller must apply to authorities for a new one at great expense and inconvenience as it happened to me a few years back.
Last year many Mexicans applied for asylum in Canada. They were economic opportunists trying to jump the cue. The government quickly imposed a visa requirement, but this caused a lot of rich Mexicans to cancel their planned vacations in Canada. This cost the Canadian economy millions of dollars of loss of income.
Now some governments including the U S A have invented a new way of extracting funds from visitors by imposing a US $ 10.00 “entry fee”. Canadians travelling to the U S A are exempt from this possibly because millions travel to border cities and sop countless discount merchandise malls.
In other countries entry fees are much higher (In Chile US $ 50.00 for Canadians, and US $ 100.00 for Americans, in Armenia US $ 30.00 regardless of citizenship except for the citizens of formerly republics of the U S S R)
On the other hand EU member countries don’t even require a passport for travel within.
hinder tourism traffic. Entry fees are annoying and often not made public, but less of a hassle and bearable. Theycan represent difficulties for tourists who may not have US $ handy, and currencies available that are inconvertible, i.e the Armenian dram, or others.
The worst of all tourism rip-offs is exercised by the government of Bhutan that requires not only a visa, but also a daily staying fee in excess of US $ 150.00 per person claiming that this mitigates tourism related pollution in the “pure and unpolluted” country.
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.