Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It takes one to know one.

The French and the Americans have somethign very special in common:
According to this CS Monitor article, the bad image of America has caused a substantial loss of tourists for the US:
"We lose out on jobs when foreigners don't travel here as much. We lose out on billions of dollars in spending, but we also lose the goodwill we know comes from people getting to know Americans," says Roger Dow, president of the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA).
In 2002, the US reaped 9 percent of international travel, but today the number is down to 6 percent. Each percentage drop represents 150,000 jobs and $15 billion in spending, according to the TIA.
The worst part is that it's not going to get better any time soon:
"I don't believe the figures we're seeing will change much so long as this president is in office," says Simon Serfaty, an expert in US-Europe relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.
But here's the best part of the article, I think:
There are some bright spots for the US. The Pew survey found that America's image improved among French youth, for example. "Feelings about America were bad in 2003 at the start of the war, but you don't see that so much among the young people anymore," says Swann Gros, a 17-year-old Parisian on his first visit to America this summer. Demonstrating an awareness of current events, he says the French know that Bush "is not so popular with Americans now - just as the French don't so much like Jacques Chirac."

See? We understand you guys. We feel the same about OUR president. So we should know that you cannot be held responsible for all the stupid decisions made by your leader.


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