US Worst in Travel Headaches

It’s such a bummer that America’s image in the world has suffered lately. I’m constantly meeting people who tell me that while they once had nothing but admiration for America, their esteem has declined significantly since, well, you know. Recently, I’ve heard an earful from people who came here merely for tourism, who were brought nearly to tears describing the hassles they had to go through just to visit and see the country. One of my friends came with his family, and their top priority was to see Disneyland. They made the visit, but said the whole experience was soured by how hard it was to get through security. Turns out these problems were not isolated to them.

According to a new study of international travelers by a tourism business lobby, the United States visa and immigration entry system was rated the “world’s worst.” Interviews with 2,011 non-US. residents who had traveled outside their home continents over the last 18 months. So what are people all huffy about? Well, the rating was based on the ease of obtaining travel documents and the “respectfulness” of immigration officials. Rather sad and certainly interesting. But in regards to the later issue, I do have to wonder whether many of these folks just happened to come through New York, in which case immigration officials have pretty much always been that way.