Visa costs for US citizens in US dollars:
There is a flipside to this. One reason visa costs are high is a reaction to what USA charges foreigners for a visa, $140 last I checked. The reason we charge $140 is because of a rule that states the visa cost should reflect the actual processing cost. I don’t know how they compute that but, like public transportation, some things have an intangible, incalculable benefit that should override the number crunching.
I go back and forth about this. On the one hand, I think this tit-for-tat of countries to use “reciprocity”, as it’s called, is shortsighted and they are shooting themselves in the foot to make a point. Intuitively, there should be a big economic benefit of a lower visa cost. On the other hand, if visas were free throughout West Africa, would American tourists flood in? No. Would it be a good start?
I would love to visit. It’d be rough going, but I also know it would be completely unforgettable. I simply don’t want to shell out $1000 for visas. Is it hypocritical of me to complain about this?