Fox News: Let’s Boost “Apple Tourism” With Easier U.S. Travel Visas



If the U.S. makes it easier for tourists to enter the country, more of them will come to spend their money – especially on electronic gadgets, Fox News maintains.

They make the case for iPad buyers from Brazil, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Despite the evidence that they’ll be soon making iPads and iPhones there, nightmarishly high tariffs still make the U.S. a better place to buy Apple products. (By the way, Cult of Mac will be in Sao Paulo Nov. 20, come say hi and talk about all things Apple in Brazil).

The original iPad cost $985 in Brazil, about twice as much as in the U.S. and one of the most expensive prices anywhere. If they want to come get one while visiting our country, it can take up to four and a half months – 141 days – for Brazilians to get an appointment at the U.S. consulate in San Paolo for the mandatory in-person visa interview.

The math on all of this is (necessarily?) a little fuzzy. Surely it’s easier (and cheaper) all things told to just bite the bullet and buy it at home. Perhaps someone should create an iPad index – like The Economist’s Big Mac Index – to better compare prices around the world adjusted for taxes etc.

Still, gadget shopping abroad can still be a major highlight of the vacation – Apple’s iconic 5th Avenue Store in New York is now one of the most photographed monuments in the Big Apple.

Plus, a clean, well-lit Apple retail store can seem like a luxury experience depending on what you’re used to at home.

Apple products now make it around the world faster, but when I lived in Italy it often took months for products to arrive. And when they did, the skimpy selection (and miserable service) at tiny Apple resellers plus the perception that paying whatever the Euro price plus VAT made them more expensive meant I shopped for gadgets on trips home.

Can we boost the U.S. economy by promoting Apple tourism?

Via Fox News

  • Frank

    Like most stuff I see on Fox News, this is stupid.

  • crateish

    Like all things Fox News, this is suspect.

  • Bob Forsberg

    Make it easier for Middle Eastern foreigners to visit large American cities. That’s a great idea.

  • prof_peabody

    well maybe if the USA hadn’t spent the last hundred years invading countries around the world, blowing up villages, slaughtering families and providing military support for nasty capitalist enterprises that destroy these people’s livelihood and way of life, they might be slightly less inclined to come to the USA to blow crap up themselves.  

  • RCholbi

    It still takes months to get them to Brazil. And for building them here, many brazilians do not trust things built here. There is always a fear that lesser quality parts will be used for personal profit.

  • Teku

    This plays counter to Apple’s strategy. They don’t want people coming here to get their gadgets, they want them to pine for them from their home country until a fervor builds up – then they come and build their stores after it has reached a peak. This is how they get kings to kneel and kiss the ring.