Posted Wednesday, December 6, 2006 9:28 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Faced with a decline in the number of overseas visitors and unpopular entry requirements, the U.S. government is turning to the Walt Disney Co. and other theme park operators to brighten the country's battered image.
Read more from Reuters via Yahoo.
Stephen Jr., come back to America, Uncle Sam needs you... :)
I have travelled all through Asia and had the worst experience getting into the United States AS A CITIZEN!
Anyways, I just had to vent that somewhere. I enjoyed reading Jay Rasulo's comment: "First impressions are important, the first 100 steps in an airport are important. The entry sequence is what sets you in the mood to have a good time."
^Man, that's worse than the DMV. Then again, I haven't been there in years.
My former employer scheduled major meetings based on the availability of direct flights into Toronto from Mexico City and Rio Di Janeiro. Too many of their partners from central and south america complained that if there was no direct flight and they had to transfer in Houston, Atlanta or Chicago en route to the meeting, US officials were slow and rude, causing many partners to missed their connections entirely.
I am a bit of a globe-trotter, mostly Western Hemisphere. Since the major security screening changes of 2001, I've had to go through customs in several nations. The following summarizes my customs experiences, 1=easiest and most welcoming, 5=difficult and beurocratic:
France: 1 (Friendly staff, spoke perfect English.)
Italy: 2 (Very authoritative with foreigners -- all bark, no bite.)
Mexico: 3 (Slow, but not mean or rude.)
Canada: 4 (Hard time with Montreal airport customs officers.)
US: 5 (Carrying our entire set of luggage to the US customs X-ray machine is annoying. As is removing belts and shoes.)
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