March 9, 2010

"Wow, each tourist spends on average $212,083.33."

"Those are some rich tourists!"

Oh, now, now, it's a problem that Barack Obama understands. Please be quiet and let him solve it. It's only going to cost $100 million and nobody you care about will have to pay for it.

(Via Fark.)


Moose said...

Wow - who knew? It must be that state subsidized vacationing that they do in Europe. Or those 3 rich Arabs...

DADvocate said...

It's good to know we have professional journalists performing fact checking and indepth analysis for us. Otherwise, we'd be fools accepting any ridiculous number the government tossed out.

avwh said...

Obama understands rich tourists? Why - because he is one?

garage mahal said...

Yea let's take some yahoo on Yahoo word for it. Try $4000 per visitor. Here is the actual report. Granted they are taking into account "lost visitors" if the U.S. had kept pace with the growth of international travelers.

traditionalguy said...

These tourists must come from a country where drilling for Gas and Oil is not illegal. How can we get some advisors from there sent over to teach Americans how to become rich too?

The Drill SGT said...

It is a dumb program.

We're going to tax visitors $10 each, which will produce fewer of them. All taxes do that. Then we'll spend the taxes to hire some government employees to figure out how to advertise to get the level of Tourists above where it was before we taxed them.

It will ultimately produce government jobs at the cost of private jobs.

To Obama everything is defined by whether he can tax it and hire Feds


PS: The tax will hit the EU, they come w/o visa's, rather than the Arabs, they must get visa's, thus won't pay the tax.

AJ Lynch said...

Journalists really are just dumb stenographers.

Cedarford said...

Obama is correct, as another commentor noted in the original article:

"You assume that economic math is normal math, and it isn't. That $509 billion includes dollars spent that are earned by people in tourism jobs and respent, and respent, and respent, until all dollars are locked up in either hedge funds or toxic mortgage securities or profits retained overseas."

Which is part of the dirty secret Ruling Elites getting rich off imported goods and outsourced jobs won't tell you.
It's why China has an 11.9% annual growth rate vs. our 0.7% rate in the last decade which is largely a function of the money we borrow from China injected into our economy.
Why despite 3 Trillion borrowed and another 9.8 Trillion needed by Obama.....and Bush's sanctification of free trade as a win-win jobs engine and "jobs-growing tax cuts for the wealthy"------

We had an entire decade from 2001 to 2010 with Zero Job Growth in the USA!!!

It's the economic money multiplier, stupid!

If 70% of what is spent at ChinaMart(formerly known as Walmart) goes to China - for the resources, Chinese workers, and US corporations parking that money in China to create new industry to get other US production moved to Asia -

- they get the money multiplier effect - and we are reduced to being like Jamaicans salivating on how far the tourist dollar will go to ameliorate their economic misery.

AJ Lynch said...

The study concludes that travel grew in most other countries except America. And by spending $100 Million, we can fix that. That assumes people want to come here and that Sept 11, 2001 was not a part of the drop in travelers coming here.

IMO, this Obama program is misguided and is based on faulty reasoning. The govt should not be in the so-called business development effort. Let the for-profit companies spend their own money to drum up new customers.

Leland said...

So garage sends us to That's a brand new organization formed in 2009. They have a report that spits out all sorts of propaganda suggesting the US failed to attract international travel.

So this organization that is lobbying group for the travel industry creates a report that starts with year 2000 (9 years before they were even organized). And this non-partisan lobbying group suggests that since 2000, the US didn't do enough to attract travel, and thus the US needs to spend more money to remedy the situation. No where in the 10 page report does it mention why year 2000 was picked, and even more peculiar is absolutely no mention of 9-11, terrorist attacks on planes and trains, or on-going international wars. It's all a failure to market properly.

So then you go the Travel Industry Association website, one of the two organizations that created the new lobbying group. On their page, near the upper right corner is an endorsement for the US Travel Promotion Act, which Obama just signed. What does it say as a tagline, Real Economic Stimulus That Won't Cost a Dime.

So apparently $100,000,000 is less than a dime.

Thanks for the hat tip, Garage.

Hoosier Daddy said...

IMO, this Obama program is misguided and is based on faulty reasoning.

That would make a pretty accurate templete for describing this administration going forward.

Alex said...

garage - why do you knee-jerk defend any hare-brained scheme coming out of Obama?

AJ Lynch said...

Someday, reporters may remember their job is to ask hard questions and be skeptical of govt.

garage mahal said...

Thanks for the hat tip, Garage.

I linked to the actual report, which I thought was better than of relying on a commentator on yahoo. That way, [and as a convenience], you could pick through what they were saying.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Someday, reporters may remember their job is to ask hard questions and be skeptical of govt.

They do when its led by conservatives.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Actually with the economic downturn its not a big shock foreigners aren't coming here. I mean if I was a German its cheaper to go visit Belgium or Italy than fly across the Atlantic.

DADvocate said...

why do you knee-jerk defend any hare-brained scheme coming out of Obama?

It's much easier than actually having to objectively think and analyze.

garage mahal said...

I see, it's better to read an anonymous comment on yahoo and take it for face value, rather than linking to the actual report. Got it.

Alex said...

garage - one again just another knee-jerk defense of Obama. He is a god in your eyes and we are all heretics who should be burnt at the stake.

AJ Lynch said...

Garage- the comment was accurate based on what the news article chose to include in the report.

Also, no one could objectively agree with the economic report's rosy conclusions and forecasts.

former law student said...

Oh jeez.

The AP misreported an industry association handout. No government stupidity was involved in the error.

A year ago, the Travel Industry Association merged with the Travel Business Roundtable to form the US Travel Association.

And, as garage points out, the net loss includes the loss of the US's share in world travel growth. So it's not a loss of $200K a head, but some much lesser amount. The USTA figures we lost 68 million visitors since 2000. So the amount per head was $509 billion/68 million, or $7500 a head.

A visitor's visa costs $131, so $10 is a bargain. I had to pay a fee to leave Singapore, so an entry fee is not too bad. The travel association says it costs US citizens $20 to enter Australia, and up to $160 to enter the UK.

AllenS said...

If Obama sold watermelons to tourists, I think the industry could really take off.

AJ Lynch said...


"Industry association handout" aka govt propaganda aka "evil lobbyist".

If the handout was from the insurance industry, Pbama would be waving it around and demonizing them.

David said...

I hope you are kidding, Professor.

If can soak these "tourists" for $100 million, why not use it for schools, or deficit reduction? That would be $100 million that would not have to come out of other pockets.

Problem is, I think most people will think that "nobody" will pay for this.

If so, we are all Congress now.

former law student said...

You have to have a pretty unique view of "bargains" to think that an 8% price increase qualifies as one...

I was unclear: people who currently pay nothing because they are eligible for visa waivers will now pay $10. People who need visas pay $131 to get one.

The Drill SGT said...

former law student said...
I was unclear: people who currently pay nothing because they are eligible for visa waivers will now pay $10. People who need visas pay $131 to get one.

FLS you are correct.

However, coming at Revenant's question from another angle. Why are we only taxing 1st world tourists w/o visas? If we want to colect tazes to redistribute it (whoops I mean hire Feds) why not tax those rich Sadui tourists that need Visa's or those Mexican or Nigerian tourists that are likely to overstay and become illegals?

after all, revenue is revenue. why make a distinction?

we don't like Europeans anymore?

Adam said...

I am grateful for the link to the actual report. Otherwise I would never have learned that
"The total impact of lost visitation can be devastating."

We are such a silly people, fretting constantly during the past decade about the absurdly low probability of another major terrorist attack, all the while oblivious to the utter devastation being visited upon us by a lack of tourists from abroad.

I, for one, would like to express my immense gratitude to the US Travel Association--the mighty offspring of the happy union of the Travel Industry Association and the Travel Business Roundtable--for its generosity in spending its own money to commission this wonderful study that shows us how to achieve greater prosperity through federally-funded travel promotion.

PatCA said...

And then after he lures them here, he will force them to sign up for Obamacare. If they're spending over $200K on a vacation, they're fair fame.

former law student said...

how to achieve greater prosperity through federally-funded travel promotion.

It's all about the balance of payments.

We need a source of foreign currency, now that we've ceased making products for foreigners to buy.

Revenant said...

I was unclear: people who currently pay nothing because they are eligible for visa waivers will now pay $10.

Well, thank you for the clarification, but now it sounds like even LESS of a bargain. People who currently are free to enter as tourists now have to pay a fee and fill out paperwork. Obviously this will have a discouraging effect, however mild, on tourism.

If nothing else, it sends the message that we consider visitors an inconvenience. Seriously, if the average tourist contributes $7500 to our economy, charging them $10 for the privilege of doing so is pretty asinine.

Adam said...

@FLS, You can relax about the balance of payments. Since the dollar's value is determined on global currency markets "we" can buy all the foreign currency we "need" at every single moment of every single trading day. What you're talking about is the trade balance, not the balance of payments. The Chinese are balancing our payments quite effectively.

And if you're truly eager to increase our exports of goods and reduce our exports of Treasury securities, then you ought to worry less about tourism and more about the federal government's rising share of GDP.