The United States is changing passport requirements in an effort to deal with homeland security. Of course in places where tourism is more important than anything else such as the Caribbean, they are feeling the pressure.
Now it appears the Caribbean hotels are complaining that they have an unfair playing field vs. the cruise ship industry when it comes to passports.
Chairman of Carnival Cruise Lines, Mickey Harrison, has written to the governments of the Caribbean, requesting an urgent meeting with them and United States authorities in Washington, D.C., according to secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace.
The request follows a move by the U.S. Congress to delay the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) new passport requirements, until June 1, 2009, for cruise passengers travelling to the U.S. from the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada or Bermuda, but still requiring U.S. citizens travelling by air to these regions to have a passport by January 8, 2007. (Jamaica Gleaner)
US Lawmakers delay the passport plan at the Mexican & Canadian borders
It is important to note that this delay will only apply to travelers entering the U.S. over land borders from Canada and Mexico. Effective January 8, 2007, travel rules for people coming into the country by airplane or cruise ship will have to show their passports to Customs officials in order to gain entry.
WASHINGTON – A plan to tighten U.S. borders by requiring passports or tamper-resistant identification cards from everyone entering the country by land from Mexico and Canada has been delayed.
House and Senate lawmakers agreed to push back the program by 17 months, saying they want to make sure new ID cards being developed by the Bush administration will better secure borders against terrorists without slowing legitimate travelers from Canada and Mexico. The new ID’s will be required for Americans and all others entering the U.S. (Yahoo News)