ESTA fee criticised by agents

ESTA fee criticised by agents

Travel agencies called the new ESTA fee a ‘nightmare’ and ‘barrier’ yesterday at Visit USA’s annual general meeting. The charge was introduced recently to provide money for tourism promotion in the States. Advantage Travel Centre’s Chief Executive John McEwan realised the need to promote the US but warned that taxes and entry could deter UK travellers to the destination. “The hard challenge is to promote the US as a continent [as there is more to it than New York and Florida], but the Tourism Promotion Act will hopefully help,” he explained. “Entry can be intimidating and all the bureaucracy behind getting into the country can act as a handbreak. As attention span is declining than barriers are dangerous. ESTA is yet another barrier that the consumer has to pay.” In addition, another travel agency told Travel Daily that the ESTA system was a ‘nightmare’ as some customers are unknowingly directed to other sites. “So many internet-wise, discerning customers are getting caught out by scamming websites, so they end up paying US$50 rather than US$14,” he said. “The url address is too long as it is, it is a nightmare.” Although the introduction of the US$14 (

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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