Travel Industry Fears New Rules Could Deter Visits to U.S.
The Travel Industry Association of America warned today that several new security measures intended to prevent terrorists from entering the United States would also quite likely deter foreign tourists’ visits. The rules, to go into effect in coming months, require interviews of nearly all tourists who seek visas, as well as computer-readable passports from Europeans and others who do not need visas to travel to the United States. By January, the government plans to put into effect a rigorous tracking system for foreign visitors, which will include fingerprints and photographs. Officials say the changes are necessary to protect against terrorist attacks. But executives at the travel association, which represents the largest airlines, hotels, cruise lines and car rental companies, said the measures could further weaken an industry that has been reeling since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Full Story