The Herman Trend Alert|
February 18, 2004
Tourism vs. Security
To go or not to go? This question is challenging families, as parents and their children begin to plan for vacation trips in the Spring and Summer. Though tour companies promote their services and the airlines offer wonderful deals, couples and families alike are wrestling with two major issues: Is it safe, and how much will it cost? Should the family stay close to home? Or perhaps is this a good time to see more of our own country or travel to other countries?
Travel by air is increasingly challenging. Airport security is often time-consuming, frustrating, confusing, and a real nuisance, especially when facilities are crowded by unusually large numbers of travelers. This crowded situation occurs most frequently at holiday time, slowing the process---even when local airport employees are pulled in to supplement the understaffed United States Transportation Security Administration workers.
Travelers face similar situations in cities outside of the US, where, in many cases, there are just not enough workers to handle the crowds. These challenges cause people to re-think their priorities. What is really most important? With increased security, like fingerprinting in the United States, Brazil, and perhaps other countries as well, people are asking themselves: Is the trip really worth all the trouble?
Tourism agencies at national, state, and local levels are striving to stimulate interest in their areas. Visitors bring money. Tourism is a major economic issue throughout the United States and in other parts of the world. The battle will soon be met in earnest as various locales seek to entice tourists to their communities. Enlightened state and local governments will become more involved, funding campaigns to attract visitors who will provide jobs, strengthen the economy, and enhance tax revenues. Airport taxes, hotel taxes, and sales taxes paid by visitors all reduce the tax burden on local citizens... voters. When government officials support tourism, they are indirectly keeping their constituents happy by keeping taxes down.
Tourism competition will intensify for the limited number of foreign tourists. However, not until we strike the right balance between protecting people and profits will tourism realize its full potential.
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