Friday, November 02, 2007

Welcome to America

In the world of world wide tourism, Americans are replacing the French waiter as the stereotype of rudeness.

The Discover America advocacy campaign blames the decline on the whole unpleasant experience visitors are put through just to set foot on U.S. soil.

They claim that since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has seen overseas tourism group by 17%. That's cost us $94 billion and 200,000 jobs.

The problem -- rude welcomes, long lines, searches, suspicion, and all the red tape that politicians passed off as protection in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

But in giving in to fear -- instead of embracing the qualities that made America great like courage, resolve and openness -- we've become paranoid of even tourists heading for the Grand Canyon.

And that's created a rift between America and the world.

A visit to America should be one of the most powerful tools to make friends from around the world. And making friends can turn enemies away.

The "Ugly American" has come home. He needs to learn how to treat guests to his home. (AFP)

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