Travel to America? No, thanks

London, UK -Michael Chertoff,  Department of Homeland Securitisation, told Brits that the U.S.  wants their tourism dollars. But the price of gettting into the country may be more than the visit is worth, say many.

Europe is a platform for terrorism, according to Chertoff, who says it’s important to step up checks on travellers. Traveling to the US offers experiences like nowhere else on earth, according to Travel Industry Association’s discoveramerica.com, the official travel and tourism website of the United States, and inbound foreign travelers say, that’s right. Nowhere else can a visitor expect to be checked more thoroughly than a physical in a doctor’s office.

A preflight e-interrogation, long lines at immigration, questions from unfriendly border guards, and an opportunity to receive rubber-gloves up the rectum are but a few surprises awaiting those who venture on their dream American vacation. Enough! say Brits.  Alternatives abound, and unfortunately for the United States, those options are having impacts on foreign inbound travel numbers.

Travel stories and articles in Europe now promote options to visiting the US. For instance, instead of seeing New York, Brits are asked to take a look at Hong Kong. Why? Hong Kong’s Star ferry from Kowloon trumps the Staten Island ferry to Manhattan. And at the Felix, the Peninsula hotel penthouse bar, views are equally impressive as those from the Top of the Rockefeller. The Peninsula and the Philippe Starck-designed Jia Boutique Hotel in Causeway Bay are a few Hong Kong options to wow vacationers from around the globe.

Who needs Disneyland Anaheim or Orlando when you can see Disneyworld Paris. Mickey Mouse, like Santa Claus, can be at many places the same time. Hop on the Eurostar rather than a 747 and book Disney’s three-star Explorers Hotel for a getaway to ace the kids’ backyard pool vacation.  A continental theme-park, PortAventura, is just an hour from Barcelona, offering a less commercial family adventure than the big American theme parks – and the food is more appealing than chewy burgers.

Spanish cowboys at the Argentine pampas or Extremadura in Spain offer authentic, rugged glimpses into a lifestyle on the range.  Ride World Wide (rideworldwide.com) is a great offering to check out.

Who needs Las Vegas when you have Macau? The former Portuguese colony’s glitzier casinos, fancier hotels and continental appeal make Las Vegas seem, well, a bit tacky, say Brits. Macau is a 55-minute ferry hop from Hong Kong and you can find a home at Wynn (wynnmacau.com).