International consumers discontent over America’s unilateral foreign policies along with a fear of terrorism is harming America’s recovering, post-9/11 tourism business according to a poll by independent market research firm GMI, Inc.

“The travel and tourism industry was the third-largest U.S. industry and the third-largest private employer prior to 9/11. Since 9/11, the tourism industry has been in a state of recovery; these new GMI World Poll findings suggest that this recovery has plenty of doubt and uncertainty to overcome. Americans must also recognize that if the tourism sector suffers, other tourism related industries will also suffer,” explains COO and Chief Pollster of GMI Inc.,

Dr. Mitchell Eggers. GMI’s World Poll, which samples 8,000 individuals from all G8 economic countries* (1,000 representative sampling in each), is the first internationally focused public-opinion survey to compile data linking the Bush administration’s foreign policies directly to consumers’ willingness to purchase American good and services abroad.

The poll reveals that 55% of Japanese, 36% of Germans and 32% of French are less likely to visit America for business or tourism, due to America’s global war on terrorism and unilateral foreign policies. Fifty-five percent of international consumers surveyed cite an increasingly negative perception of the United States, while 67% of international consumers believe American unilateral foreign policies are guided by “self interests” and “empire building.

” “The astonishing and overwhelmingly negative response to the war in Iraq will have both a short and long term effect on American consumer brands abroad, along with tourism in the United States, illustrates how the political and economic dimensions of globalization are inseparable.

The increasing strategic and economic interdepence of the world precludes the myopic unilateralism on display in Iraq and elsewhere. Not only will this impact the necessarily global policies of multinationals, but it makes America hostage to Washington’s political/strategic policies—and there is little that they can do to counter it,” warns University of Washington Professor of International Studies and Politics and Director of the Institute for International Policy,

Dr. Donald Hellmann. When respondents were asked if they avoid flying on American-owned and operated airline while taking an international trip, 57% of Japanese, 44% of Chinese, 42% of French, and 38% of British responded yes. Out of those respondents who replied yes, 92% of Japanese, 88% of Chinese and 87% of British cited their fear of terrorists as a reason to avoid American-owned and operated airlines.

Furthermore, out of the respondents that replied yes, 36% of French and 24% of Germans cited that they avoided flying American-owned and operated airlines on international trips because they were boycotting American products and services.

“Travel industry analysts expect strength in most areas including international inbound business and leisure traffic. It appears, however, this expectation might be a bit optimistic given the palpable reluctance to fly American flagged carriers and the persistent fear of terrorist attacks among foreigners. These fears combined with a deteriorating view of America and our foreign policy, will surely work against the rebound in travel and tourism in the U.S.,” further explains Dr. Eggers.

The GMI World Poll also indicates that 18%, or one in five foreigners, say they will avoid many U.S. products due to America’s unilateral foreign policies. Out of this 18% (1260 respondents), 40% said they would definitely avoid flying American Airlines, 38% United Airlines, and 34% Northwest Airlines. Thirty- one percent also felt their governments should avoid purchasing aircraft produced by Seattle-based Boeing.

Complete results of GMI World Poll surveys are available in their entirety at the following Web site: . Upon request, GMI will provide media with comprehensive World Poll survey results cross-tabulated by variables such as age, gender, geographic region, and where applicable, race and ethnicity. *G8 nations are the world’s major industrial democracies, including Canada, France, Germany, China, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. About GMI World Poll GMI World Poll quickly and accurately gathers international opinions about topical issues and critical global events, with real-time results available in as little as 24 hours.

GMI World Poll is the only survey that polls global opinions in real-time, on-line, and with statistically accurate results. More information on GMI World Poll is available at About GMI GMI provides integrated solutions for market research. The company’s advanced software, global panels, and service bureau capabilities are built around a deep competence in conducting multi-country research using a Net-centric approach to data collection. With operations on four continents, GMI is the partner of choice for conducting global market research at the speed of the Internet. More information on GMI is available

After a few months of optimism and growth, the US dollar has stalled along with the economy. Once again it takes over $1.22 to buy one Euro. Pent-up demand is driving an increase in travel, however, as more people take to the skies and fill up hotels, especially business travelers.

Airlines are reporting fewer empty seats and hotel chains are reporting fewer empty beds. While this is great news for a struggling industry, it is not such great news for leisure travelers used to finding great deals everywhere. Tim Leffel, author of The World’s Cheapest Destinations, offers the following tips on where to find the real travel deals this fall. Head to Latin America Grab a Spanish phrase book and fly south this autumn.

Most Latin American economies are tied closely to the dollar, so exchange rates are not an issue. Any country in the continental Americas is cheaper than the US, so it’s hard to go wrong in terms of price. Flexible travelers can find great airfare deals to Mexico, Central America, and as far south as Argentina. Dozens of destinations are on sale weekly for $250 to $600 round trip. Check sites such as and for the latest deals, or go to to bid on packages.

Caribbean Deals For reasons that have nothing to do with quality, the best island bargains in the Caribbean this fall are the Dominican Republic and Margarita Island. Troubles in Haiti have pulled down neighboring Dominican Republic’s currency, so the US dollar is worth twice what it was two years ago. Flight or package deals are available from most US cities and tourists who venture away from the resorts will find their travel dollar going a long way. Margarita Island features all the Caribbean beach staples: palm trees, great seafood, and 320 days a year of sunshine, but at prices that have gone from low to lower. Since the island is part of Venezuela,

Many tourists have been scared off by political troubles in Caracas. Margarita Island has about as much to do with Caracas as Aruba does, however. Unlike its Caribbean neighbors, this island offers 50-cent beers in the bars, fresh fish meals for under $5, and bottles of rum for less than two bucks. All-inclusive resorts in the area are commonly less than $150 per night for a couple until Christmas week and small children usually stay for free. Canada Before the Cold The value of the US dollar has dropped a bit in Canada over the past two years, but the country is still the best first-world deal for Americans or Europeans.

Even in the big cities, prices are noticeably lower than the US average. Many travelers consider fall to be the best time to visit Canada. The air is crisp but not yet freezing and the summer vacation crowds have thinned out. Ski buffs can get an early start in the Canadian Rockies, usually at prices well below those of US resorts. The Other USA The increasing spread of discount airline routes has opened up more of the US to bargain fares. As a result, travelers should also open their horizons to cities they may not have considered before.

Unusually low fares are popping up for markets typically off the travel magazine radar. These days it is common to find fares under $200 to places such as Kansas City, Colorado Springs, Burlington, or Green Bay. Beyond cheaper airfares, tourists in these smaller markets can avoid big city prices as well. See what the specials are from your local airport and go with the flow.

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Essential Info

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