Published: January 19, 2012 at 11:06 AMAs someone who visited a Florida theme park last week, I'm not so sure we need to make it easier for Brazil...
Published: January 19, 2012 at 11:17 AMI hate to admit this, but the "ears" joke made me smile. sorry, couldn't help it.
Published: January 19, 2012 at 11:20 AMJust wanted to add, as a citizen of Switzerland who doesn't need a visa to enter the US as a tourist (this is true for visitors from most European countries as well) I think the most exciting piece of information was that the Global Entry program will be expanded to additional countries (currently only open to US citizens, legal residents, Mexican, Canadian and Dutch citizens)
Unfortunately, he didn't say what the timeframe for this is.
Published: January 19, 2012 at 12:32 PMObama, I don't need another incentive to visit your country. I've already hopped across the pond 5 times in the last 2 years...
Published: January 19, 2012 at 12:35 PMThe more I think about this, the more I'm coming around to thinking that these steps might reduce the number of Brazilian tour groups over the long term.
Hear me out: If we remove the visa requirement for Brazilian tourists, it's logical to assume that the number of visitors from Brazil to the US will increase. While that might lead to initial increase in the cost of visiting as more people try to get on the same number of flights, eventually, airlines will add more flights, more Brazilians will become familiar with the trip and learn how to find deals, etc., and the average cost of visiting the US will come down.
With increased trade between the US and Brazil as a result of the visa requirement going away, standards of living in Brazil might rise, accelerating the growth of its middle class. That, coupled with price decreases, would mean more people could afford to make the trip.
Third, without a visa requirement, getting to the US becomes as simple as booking a trip. No more bureaucratic hassles. That eliminates one of the huge reasons for booking through a tour group - you'll no longer need a pro to help you through the process.
Add it all up, and under this scenario, it's quite likely that more Brazilian families would have the means and the ability to visit the US as a family, instead of only sending the kids through a tour group. (The family could afford the extra tickets, and wouldn't need the assistance of tour operators to get visas and make arrangements.) So, in the long run, we could see more Brazilian teens visiting, but under the guidance of their parents, instead lumped in with dozens of other teens in barely supervised tour groups.
Just me supposing here, but the scenario makes sense to me. What do you think?
Published: January 19, 2012 at 12:40 PMThat... actually makes a lot of sense, Robert.
Published: January 19, 2012 at 1:38 PMYour logic is very sound. Because of the fear of possible immigrants, the visa requirement is much more a hindrance to younger adults and parents than to a teen.
Published: January 19, 2012 at 1:53 PMDisney and other tourist industry companies have a powerful lobbying presence in Washington DC. If tourism related legislation were making its way through Congress and were going to be announced in such a public manner by the President of the United States, I am certain that the industry bean counters evaluated the economic short term and long term prospects.
Published: January 19, 2012 at 2:08 PMHopefully the increase in brazilian tourists makes up for the other tourists that the increase in brazilians keeps away. Unless something in the park is changing to accommodate these greater numbers of guests, why would I be happy about this? And before you bring up the "parks make more money and can build new rides" i say they already so that now. And I understand it helps the country and economy, etc. But speaking not as a patriotic American, but as a tourist who's weighing my options, I'll take the shorter lines and ethnocentrism of hershey/Busch gardens/kings dominion.
Just my 2 cents. Written on my phone, please excuse any typos.
Published: January 19, 2012 at 2:24 PMI happen to think you're looking at the tour group trend narrowly. Brazil might be sending mostly youth groups to WDW, but they could be catering to all age groups. The mix of tour groups versus individual vacations will change with the new visa requirements, but this depends on what they are seeing and whether they have the confidence to do their own vacations. Tour groups are favored for people who don't know the language and want to visit as many places as possible. I did a Europe tour where I visited 12 countries and 14 cities over a 3.5 week span, but this was a long time ago. The visa requirements were irrelevant to me taking the vacation. Tour groups are helpful if you want an inclusive vacation (most tickets, meals, shows, transportation, fees/taxes, and rooms are included).
Published: January 19, 2012 at 2:46 PMI think you might be over thinking a bit on the tour groups. Higher standards of living or not, when traveling to a foreign country with an unknown language, people will feel much more comfortable being in a touring group with a guide. Even many Americans still travel abroad in touring groups.
Published: January 21, 2012 at 3:29 AMI've never heard of a U.S. president calling for more tourism.
Published: January 21, 2012 at 6:10 PMToo bad its easier to get into most countries that require a Visa than to the US without an official Visa requirement.
Published: January 22, 2012 at 12:05 PMRobert, just some remarks about your points:
Tour operators in Brazil don’t help in the process to obtain an US Visa. The US Consulate requires personal presence of each one, even if it is someone, like me, that have already been 40 times to USA.
Most people that choose to go with a group do that because they don’t speak English.
Up to middle 2013 there will not be a significant increase in Brazilian visitors because no more flights US-Brazil will be allowed. After that date, there will be a significant increase in the number of flights, a process that will end after 5 years when a free skies agreement will begin. Then, market, not government, will determine the amount of flights.