According to Business Mirror dated February 2, 2007, Associated Press (AP) dispatch said that the U.S. is losing out on global tourism. It added that visiting the U.S.A. nowadays isn’t as popular as it used to be due to delays and difficulties in getting U.S. Visas, long lines at customs, etc.
Travel & tourism industry is being affected due to what the American travel executives believe is the fear of the unknown. Chicken hawks fear mongering and the myth of war on terrorism was believed to be the main cause of the dying tourism business which also affects international trade relations.
Due to this alleged wrong U.S. foreign policy, the perception of the American leadership is getting uglier in the global scene these days.
In the Philippines, despite the good P.R. of the ever smiling Amb. Kristie Kenney and its approachable spokesman Matthew Lussenhop, Filipinos are still cynical as to the American agenda. One area that should be corrected is the issuance of visa. Many Filipinos believe that if the U.S. government is giving a free entry visa to the Japanese whose a former enemy of the U.S., why not be fair to the Filipinos who has fought a war not of their liking.
We Filipinos don’t mind paying as long as we can get what’s due us. We are even willing to pay a surety bond if the consulate believes that an applicant could be an intending immigrant. The U.S. should inform Washington about this. If not, the U.S. could lose the Philippines because of this love-hate relationship.
DR. ERICK SAN JUAN
S-208, Manila Bank building,
6772 Ayala Ave., Makati City