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John McEwan, chief executive of Advantage, said that the number of UK visitors to the US is going to be threatened by security measures introduced by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).
Speaking during a meeting at a Visit USA breakfast organized at the beginning of the World Travel Market 2010, McEwan stated that although the recent data from the travel agency shows a revival in the bookings to some of the major destinations in the US, however, heavy handed measures by the US are seemingly putting a handbrake on the revival of UK visitors into the US.
As per the latest figures, there has been an increase in the Florida sales by 10 percent, while the sales figures for the West Coast showed an increase of 8 percent. There was also a noticeable increase in the Las Vegas sales resulting in increasing competition between Virgin Atlantic and BA of the UK.
The new tough rules announced by the US for visitors coming here can prove to be restricting tourists from the UK.
Also, other factors like bureaucracy and increased paperwork might also discourage many UK tourists to come to the US, claimed Mr. McEwan.
The US had recently introduced a compulsory ESTA fees for all those wanting to visit the US was yet another barrier in the way of many aspiring visitors to the US. So, a family of four members wanting to come to the US will be required to pay £240 as tax.
Moreover, the recent hike in the Air Passenger Duty is going to prevent many from visiting the US.
New York has a huge amount of capacity lying unsold primarily due to the above stated restrictions which might have been otherwise used by now, added Mr. McEwan.
Founded nearly 30 years ago with around 750 retail stores in the UK, ‘Advantage – Specialists in Travel’ happens to the biggest travel agency in the UK.