As Europe becomes more officially xenophobic with tougher visa processing procedures, the 25 country Schengen immigration zone, and various other obstacles to the potential foreigner the knee jerk reaction has taken a reputed 500 million dollar per year hit out of the continent’s tourism industry.
The European Tour Operators Association reported that nearly a half of million would be tourists to Europe had to postpone or cancel their trips because of slow visa processing and other difficulties.
Most of these tourists are from India or China. 23% of all prospective Chinese tourists to Europe are reputed to have cancelled their trips due to long wait times for their Schengen visas.
The problem: bureaucratic hassles and the demand that applications be made out in English. Imagine if China demanded that tourists fill out applications in Chinese?
It is my impression that Europe is gloating from within the new wall that encircles a large portion of the continent into one single immigration zone. 25 (soon to be 27) mid sized and little countries now act as one large one in terms of immigration, and it seems as if Schengen Europe is on one major power trip because of it.
There is a whole world out there, Europe is clearly not the center of the universe: travel elsewhere.