Monday, January 07, 2008

Record Number of U.S. Passports Issued in 2007 – So What?

American travelers, especially those who travel abroad experiencing other cultures, are often embarrassed by the few numbers of fellow citizens holding passports. But there was some hope this past year. The Associated Press reported that, “The State Department issued a record 18.4 million passports in fiscal year 2007, compared to 12.1 million in 2006. Thirty percent of Americans now hold passports, up from 27%.” Unfortunately this enhancement was mostly in recognition of new passport requirements for North American travel, not that our country is finally looking past the “fear factor” of other peoples and to the wonders and enjoyment of the world beyond. According to the same report, Americans are expected to travel closer to home over the coming year because the dollar is so weak overseas.

Postcard from Bermuda, early 1900s.