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Marriott CEO: U.S. unfriendly to travelers

Marriott CEO: U.S. unfriendly to travelers

 
Old Dec 8, 10, 5:39 am
  #16  
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What "message" does it send? Lots of countries have a nominal entry/exit fee. I paid one in Cairo a few months back... I've paid them in many parts of the world.

I think the fee is lame but I dispute the original assertion that it's changing travel decision models in any significant way. If a large percentage of Euro-LatAm connecting traffic is now moving away from U.S. airports, where is it all going? Are those airlines that are benefiting from the activity adding flights, seeing increased profits/revenues in their financial reports? Are those airports impacted seeing a need to rapidly expand, build more runways, etc.?

In any case, even if we lost a bunch of connecting traffic - so much that entire flights were being canceled, foreign airlines were pulling out of the U.S. because they couldn't fill seats, etc. - that wouldn't affect Marriott's revenues or profits. (Maybe it'd impact the airport vendors...)

Bottom line: if you have business in New York or Chicago - or a desire to visit them for vacation - surly O'Hare security or a $15 fee isn't going to impact your decision to go.
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Old Dec 8, 10, 8:27 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I think the fee is lame but I dispute the original assertion that it's changing travel decision models in any significant way.
Bill Marriott's essay, linked to in the OP, said nothing about the fees. I agree with you that fee amount is at most a nuisance compared to the overall costs of international travel. Bill faulted the time and effort required to get an entry visa. Let's keep focused on that and not get tied up in negligible fees.

I have seen the visa problem in my own business. My company has partners in many Asian countries. We've wanted to bring them to the US for periodic training and meetings. But visas are too difficult to get for those from some countries. Instead, we've been running our meetings in Hong Kong. US businesses miss out on thousands of dollars of revenue from hotel rooms, food, transit, and sightseeing per person every time that happens. Multiply that across all the businesses shifting international meetings and conferences to countries that are easier for international travelers to get into.
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Old Dec 8, 10, 8:36 am
  #18  
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I agree. A friend of mine is a very successful professional working for a Big Four accounting firm in Thailand, where he was born and raised. He has never visited the U.S. because getting a visa requires lining up outside the U.S. embassy at 5 am and waiting all day for an interview. A significant fee is required, whether or not the visa is approved. And he misses a whole day of work (and associated client billings). It's just not worth it to him. And he's not the only one. The U.S. is foolish to make the country so inaccessible to people like that.

Bruce
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Old Dec 8, 10, 10:36 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
Bill Marriott's essay, linked to in the OP, said nothing about the fees. I agree with you that fee amount is at most a nuisance compared to the overall costs of international travel. Bill faulted the time and effort required to get an entry visa. Let's keep focused on that and not get tied up in negligible fees.

I have seen the visa problem in my own business. My company has partners in many Asian countries. We've wanted to bring them to the US for periodic training and meetings. But visas are too difficult to get for those from some countries. Instead, we've been running our meetings in Hong Kong. US businesses miss out on thousands of dollars of revenue from hotel rooms, food, transit, and sightseeing per person every time that happens. Multiply that across all the businesses shifting international meetings and conferences to countries that are easier for international travelers to get into.
+1 & to also echo TuxTraveller. And add on TSA & the NOS & enhanced patdowns & you've got folk definitely looking at locations other than the US.

Cheers.
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