The American economy has lost out on a half trillion dollars in travel and tourism after the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, led to tighter visa requirements for many foreigners.
At the same time, it appears those tighter measures may have worked.
We haven't had another 9/11.
The balance between security and commerce is delicate, the ultimate risk-reward scenario.
Executives gathered at the Global Travel & Tourism Summit in Las Vegas say the U.S. has gone too far to put up a global "Keep Out" sign, and it has cost our economy $500 billion that went to other countries.
"We call it 'The Lost Decade,'" says Roger Dow, president and chief executive of the U.S. Travel Association. "Other countries are cashing in on this gold mine."
There are about two dozen countries where foreign visitors do not need visas to visit the U.S. However, for emerging countries like China, India and Brazil, coming to America requires a face-to-face interview with a visa officer.