USA: Congress passes disputed Travel Promotion Act

The Senate voted 78 to 18 for the legislation, which sets up a nonprofit corporation for travel promotion. It now goes to President Barack Obama for signature.The necessary money would come from a $10 fee levied on travelers from the 35 (mostly European) countries participating in a visa waiver program. The United States now requires people who don’t need visas to register online at least 72 hours before travel and to renew their registration every two years. They would have to pay the new fee when they register. The European Union has protested against the new fee and has announced it would consider retaliatory stances if this new fee was put into place (see earlier post of Sep. 9, 2009).Supporters denied that the new fee could discourage possible visitors, pointing out that many countries charge $25 to $50 in exit and entry fees and that $10 was insignificant compared to the average $130 cost of obtaining a visa.Source: abc News; find article here>>.

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