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Old Apr 13, 12, 1:27 am   #76
 
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Originally Posted by Yaatri View Post
Here is some timely news fresh off the press in support of item # 3 above.
Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan 'detained' in US
Just imagine what the reaction from the US would be if Brad Pitt or Al Pacino or someone like that (sorry, not really up on American celebs but you get the idea) was detained by immigration in Mumbai. The whining would go on from now until the turn of the century.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 3:45 am   #77
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You mean like when Sylvester Stallone was detained in Australia by customs and immigration..............and no one cared. I can go on. Hell I had to deal with a certain celebrity getting hassled and detained in Dubai not so long ago and quite frankly no one cared to make anything of it.

Or maybe it was because the last time SRK had "customs trouble" in the US he intentionally brought it upon himself as part of a PR plot aimed at promoting his soon upcoming film 'My name is Khan" maybe just maybe after that the CBP did in fact put him in the computer due to the hassle and bad publicity that he caused the agency.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 4:53 am   #78
 
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
You mean like when Sylvester Stallone was detained in Australia by customs and immigration..............and no one cared.
And yet here we are five years later and I find someone still whining on FT about Sylvester Stallone being busted for importing drugs into Australia

Last edited by Moineau; Apr 13, 12 at 5:09 am.. Reason: typo
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Old Apr 13, 12, 5:06 am   #79
 
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I think the point is that US is free to hassle anyone it wants at border control, to implement the strictest measures and impose as much collective punishment as it thinks necessary. Just like any other country.

The question is whether this is hurting their tourist industry. My anecdotal evidence (not just from Saudis) is that yes it is. I know very many people who used to travel to the US regularly for vacation and now they don't. at the same time destinations such as Malaysia and Vietnam have upped their game.

I am not judging whether the current measures by the US are right or wrong. It's up to the US authorities and more widely through pressure from the US public to determine the best balance for them.

Last edited by jahason; Apr 13, 12 at 9:08 am.. Reason: spelling error
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Old Apr 13, 12, 5:59 am   #80
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
You mean like when Sylvester Stallone was detained in Australia by customs and immigration..............and no one cared. I can go on. Hell I had to deal with a certain celebrity getting hassled and detained in Dubai not so long ago and quite frankly no one cared to make anything of it.

Or maybe it was because the last time SRK had "customs trouble" in the US he intentionally brought it upon himself as part of a PR plot aimed at promoting his soon upcoming film 'My name is Khan" maybe just maybe after that the CBP did in fact put him in the computer due to the hassle and bad publicity that he caused the agency.
He was not blacklisted after that movie was released. Nor was he even blacklisted even after that movie went into production.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 8:21 am   #81
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Originally Posted by Moineau View Post
Just imagine what the reaction from the US would be if Brad Pitt or Al Pacino or someone like that (sorry, not really up on American celebs but you get the idea) was detained by immigration in Mumbai. The whining would go on from now until the turn of the century.
People can whine all they want. No one really cares if a star is arrested. The incident would not be newsworthy if he were caught bringing drugs or contraband. The report is relevant not because he was a star, but because he was singled out because of his name.
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
You mean like when Sylvester Stallone was detained in Australia by customs and immigration..............and no one cared. I can go on. Hell I had to deal with a certain celebrity getting hassled and detained in Dubai not so long ago and quite frankly no one cared to make anything of it.

Or maybe it was because the last time SRK had "customs trouble" in the US he intentionally brought it upon himself as part of a PR plot aimed at promoting his soon upcoming film 'My name is Khan" maybe just maybe after that the CBP did in fact put him in the computer due to the hassle and bad publicity that he caused the agency.
That he is a celebrity, or one of the biggest stars in some part of the world is not the issue. A celebrity being detained makes no difference to travellers. But who he is, his name and that he happens to have a certain religion is.
Are you saying it's retaliation? Government retaliating against? Why would people travel to a country where they expect massive retaliation from the most powerful Govt machinery in the world?
Back to the point, which is---harassment of travellers, famous and ordinary, middle eastern or not, in various ways is a major contributor to declining share of U.S. travel, but sluggish economy and globalisation have also left our country out of travelling plans of many.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 8:34 am   #82
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No what I am saying, and I know this to be a fact, is that he intentionally caused problems at immigration upon his arrival, specifically so that he could be detained and questioned more solely for the purpose of promoting his upcoming movie, my Name Is Khan, which "coincidentally" dealt with some of the exact same issues. So if after he and his people arranged this publicity stunt two years ago DHS might have now put something in their computer that is IS in fact a troublemaker (not Muslim, not terrorist, not Indian, but just an a88hole) it might be understandable, Much like how Snoop can now travel to the Uk again, but undergoes at least an hour of scrutiny each time (and not based on what charges he may have had filed against him, but because he and his possee acted as such troublesome a88holes once upon a time).

As for Saudis traveling to the US, the upper middle class and above Saudis that traveled to the US pre 9/11 still travel to the US in the same numbers and percentages (although I am sure that many of the Bin laden clan now avoid it). Malaysia has gotten a huge number of cheap Saudi package tourists, witness the hoards of them descending on Langkawi over the last ten years..........these people never were travelers to the US in the first place. Furthermore among the slightly more wealthy packs of male Saudi youth looking for hookers and drugs, their destination was rarely if ever the US.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 9:27 am   #83
 
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When you've bought your ESTA, had your eye scanned, fingerprints checked
you begin to wonder if you're really welcome anyway.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 10:22 am   #84
 
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When you've bought your ESTA, had your eye scanned, fingerprints checked
you begin to wonder if you're really welcome anyway.
Actually I have no problem with any of this. I am mildly annoyed with the $10 tourism tax included with the ESTA fee.

I would be more annoyed if I were detained for further questioning and then no one turned up to question me for some time.

I don't mind how many questions officials ask as long as they can get through the process as quickly as possible. Not detain me for long periods, just because they can.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 11:30 am   #85
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
No what I am saying, and I know this to be a fact, is that he intentionally caused problems at immigration upon his arrival, specifically so that he could be detained and questioned more solely for the purpose of promoting his upcoming movie, my Name Is Khan, which "coincidentally" dealt with some of the exact same issues. So if after he and his people arranged this publicity stunt two years ago DHS might have now put something in their computer that is IS in fact a troublemaker (not Muslim, not terrorist, not Indian, but just an a88hole) it might be understandable, Much like how Snoop can now travel to the Uk again, but undergoes at least an hour of scrutiny each time (and not based on what charges he may have had filed against him, but because he and his possee acted as such troublesome a88holes once upon a time).

As for Saudis traveling to the US, the upper middle class and above Saudis that traveled to the US pre 9/11 still travel to the US in the same numbers and percentages (although I am sure that many of the Bin laden clan now avoid it). Malaysia has gotten a huge number of cheap Saudi package tourists, witness the hoards of them descending on Langkawi over the last ten years..........these people never were travelers to the US in the first place. Furthermore among the slightly more wealthy packs of male Saudi youth looking for hookers and drugs, their destination was rarely if ever the US.
I don't know if SRK stage managed his troubles for publicity, but given that publicity is good for him, it's not without the realm of possibility that he did. The point is the perception people have, which is not based on SRK's stunt or reality, but on a large number of similar incidents involving ordinary citizens, both American and foreign and dignitaries, scientists and prominent businessmen. By focusing on large segment of population who could be or look like a Muslim or a terrorist, is alienating a large segment of travellers around the world. All of South Asia, Muslim South East Asia, all of Middle East, Central Asia/Former (stans) make up a25-30% of world population. This perception based largely on reality is a major contributing factor in decline of travel to the U.S., SRK's appetite for publicity notwithstanding.

Last edited by Yaatri; Apr 13, 12 at 11:36 am..
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Old Apr 13, 12, 11:42 am   #86
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
No what I am saying, and I know this to be a fact, is that he intentionally caused problems at immigration upon his arrival, specifically so that he could be detained and questioned more solely for the purpose of promoting his upcoming movie, my Name Is Khan, which "coincidentally" dealt with some of the exact same issues.
I presume he had an interest in promotion of his movies and still does have such an interest, so it's certainly within the realm of possibility that he played up the CBP encounter at EWR. But what problems did he cause at immigration upon his arrival then or more recently?

I've met him repeatedly in the presence of past PMs and Presidents of India and in the the presence of the current Prime Minister and President of India; and from what I have seen he has not made a fuss when he and/or his wife are being screened the way I am. ... and that is in India where he is far more used to people -- officials and otherwise -- fawning over him.

His fingerprints were in our systems when he came -- even before his movie was released -- and so his identity then and more recently shouldn't have been an issue, if the expensive systems work and if the CBP employees aren't harassing individuals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hfly
So if after he and his people arranged this publicity stunt two years ago DHS might have now put something in their computer that is IS in fact a troublemaker (not Muslim, not terrorist, not Indian, but just an a88hole) it might be understandable, Much like how Snoop can now travel to the Uk again, but undergoes at least an hour of scrutiny each time (and not based on what charges he may have had filed against him, but because he and his possee acted as such troublesome a88holes once upon a time).
The "if" above isn't applicable here, as the "if" is not representative of reality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hfly
As for Saudis traveling to the US, the upper middle class and above Saudis that traveled to the US pre 9/11 still travel to the US in the same numbers and percentages (although I am sure that many of the Bin laden clan now avoid it). Malaysia has gotten a huge number of cheap Saudi package tourists, witness the hoards of them descending on Langkawi over the last ten years..........these people never were travelers to the US in the first place. Furthermore among the slightly more wealthy packs of male Saudi youth looking for hookers and drugs, their destination was rarely if ever the US.
For GCC citizens seeking prostitutes, Nevada and Florida was indeed not as popular with them as Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon, the UAE, parts of Europe, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The upper middle class from the GCC countries haven't come to the US as frequently as they used to come to the US. Even many of those (non-Bin Ladens) who used to come before 9/11 either no longer came or no longer came as frequently during the past ten years.
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Last edited by GUWonder; Apr 13, 12 at 11:49 am..
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Old Apr 13, 12, 11:46 am   #87
 
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I don't believe the decline in "market share" has ANYTHING to do with "hostility," whatever that means. It is simply a fact that the world is getting smaller, and it is cheaper and easier to travel to destinations that would once be truly expensive or difficult to reach. Many travelers seek the new, and so they seek out these newly open destinations. There's nothing you can do about that. We have to share the market with everybody else. The more tourist infrastructure there is throughout the world, the more people feel confident about traveling to a destination they might have once feared. Also, there's a "me too" mentality that probably dilutes market share for non unique destinations. Do you really need to go to California to visit Disneyland, if you can go to the one in Paris? Does anyone care that you went to Vegas like everybody else, or should you consider Macau? Not to mention all the little countries with no $ who figure they'll just make their fortune having all inclusive beach resorts. That kind of tourist doesn't care where they go as long as it's cheap. Should the USA compete with them on price? I don't think so!
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Old Apr 13, 12, 11:54 am   #88
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I don't believe the decline in "market share" has ANYTHING to do with "hostility," whatever that means. It is simply a fact that the world is getting smaller, and it is cheaper and easier to travel to destinations that would once be truly expensive or difficult to reach.
The US is cheaper and easier to fly to now than it was twenty, thirty or forty years ago, and we still lost marketshare since then. "Hostility" is part of the marketshare decline picture, but it is indeed not the whole picture.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 12:09 pm   #89
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I don't believe the decline in "market share" has ANYTHING to do with "hostility," whatever that means. It is simply a fact that the world is getting smaller, and it is cheaper and easier to travel to destinations that would once be truly expensive or difficult to reach. Many travelers seek the new, and so they seek out these newly open destinations. There's nothing you can do about that. We have to share the market with everybody else. The more tourist infrastructure there is throughout the world, the more people feel confident about traveling to a destination they might have once feared. Also, there's a "me too" mentality that probably dilutes market share for non unique destinations. Do you really need to go to California to visit Disneyland, if you can go to the one in Paris? Does anyone care that you went to Vegas like everybody else, or should you consider Macau? Not to mention all the little countries with no $ who figure they'll just make their fortune having all inclusive beach resorts. That kind of tourist doesn't care where they go as long as it's cheap. Should the USA compete with them on price? I don't think so!
It's a lot cheaper to travel to the U.S. than it is to many so called exotic destinations. Travel tot he U.S. is cheaper now than it was 30 years ago.
I think your comments make an assumption that the pool of travellers is static. Newer destinations are new only for existing pool of travellers. More travellers enter the pool every year, for whom every destination is "new". What's exotic for you, is ordinary for some and what's next door for you would be exotic for others. Some of the "reasons" you mention are at play I am sure, but a 35% drop has more than such minor reasons as basis.
Whether we should do anything to increase travel to the U.S. is matter of economic necessity. If our travel industry, as well as economy were doing well, we would not be reading articles such as the one this thread is based on. It's not just tourists who travel. There are students, businessmen, diplomats, dignitaries, scientists, artists and performers who travel around the world. There has been a decline in some of these prominent categories which is directly traceable to border harassment. Students now go to Australia, and New Zealand, instead coming to the U.S. Some of these travellers would be repeat travellers that we have lost.
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Old Apr 13, 12, 4:25 pm   #90
 
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
No what I am saying, and I know this to be a fact, is that he intentionally caused problems at immigration upon his arrival, specifically so that he could be detained and questioned more solely for the purpose of promoting his upcoming movie, my Name Is Khan, which "coincidentally" dealt with some of the exact same issues. So if after he and his people arranged this publicity stunt two years ago DHS might have now put something in their computer that is IS in fact a troublemaker (not Muslim, not terrorist, not Indian, but just an a88hole) it might be understandable, Much like how Snoop can now travel to the Uk again, but undergoes at least an hour of scrutiny each time (and not based on what charges he may have had filed against him, but because he and his possee acted as such troublesome a88holes once upon a time).

As for Saudis traveling to the US, the upper middle class and above Saudis that traveled to the US pre 9/11 still travel to the US in the same numbers and percentages (although I am sure that many of the Bin laden clan now avoid it). Malaysia has gotten a huge number of cheap Saudi package tourists, witness the hoards of them descending on Langkawi over the last ten years..........these people never were travelers to the US in the first place. Furthermore among the slightly more wealthy packs of male Saudi youth looking for hookers and drugs, their destination was rarely if ever the US.
I'd really enjoy seeing anything to back up these assertions. Thanks in advance.
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