Will Passports Effect Tourism? 

(WABI) – Some tourism experts believe these new passport requirements will cost Mainer’s big bucks, but others say it’s Canada who will feel this biggest economic backlash.

The Greator Bangor Visitors Bureau says a much higher percentage of Canadians have passports compared to U.S. Citizens. Officials say the buzz from above is that more U.S. citizens will likely stay within their own borders because of the new restrictions.

When you consider a family of four are paying $97 per passport for adults, $82 per passport for children, plus $15 apiece for pictures, many people may not elect to go someplace where they need a passport.

Some tourism officials believe these new passport requirements will cost Maine and New Hampshire thousands of visitors and millions of dollars, but Greater Bangor Tourism consultant Donna Fichtner believes Canada’s tourism dollars will dwindle more than Maine’s.

Many agencies are planning to iron out any tourism crimps. Some of the Caribbean destinations are offering to pay passport fees so people can come anyway.

A passport is good for ten years, and right now the restrictions only effect airline travel, but a passport will be needed to cross the border by land and sea starting as early as January 2008.