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Published On: Tue, Aug 29th, 2017

Tourism industry affected by the Trump effect

US tourism is affected by the Trump effect

It’s no coincidence, surely, that data pouring in from multiple sources show that America’s tourism has fallen by at least 6% since President Trump started running the country. Issuing an executive order to ban seven countries from travelling to your country for 90 days would inevitably have repercussions. The following increased security, which could be classed as extreme measures, certainly didn’t carry a bumper sticker slogan saying Welcome to America. Deleting Iraq from the list didn’t help much, either.

photo/ donkeyhotey

There’s lots of talk, but numbers don’t lie

When tourism accounts for around 10% GDP, almost matching oil and gas revenue, there’s no denying Trump’s travel ban, and what he stands for as head of state, is impacting America’s economy. Just one example is Emirates, an airline associated with wealth and class, are cutting flights to many of America’s major cities due to lack of demand. Small changes such as exempting grandparents from the travel ban still might not instil much faith in tourists. With plenty of exciting destinations across the globe to explore why bother with America?

But it’s not just businesses like hotels and airlines which are losing out. With tourism playing such a valuable role in the economy, the everyday people working in the industry, which accounts for almost 11% of the country’s workforce, could find themselves with cut hours or worse. A bitter pill to swallow for those workers who voted for Trump.

Is it a coincidence that most other countries, on average, have seen a 10% increase in tourism?

Several companies have reported revealing data which not only runs parallel with the president’s election and subsequent changes around travel, the results run parallel to one another’s; all indicating a drop of about 6%. However, the application for the Visa Waiver Program to travel to the USA is still easily accessible for most of the citizens that need to stay less than 90 days in the territory.   

Foursquare and ForwardKeys are two tech companies in the travel industry who’ve collected and analysed data on the movements and habits of tourists. The results come from things like people searching for flights and booking into hotels. Numbers on holiday travel to the US are down on last year’s, while the rest of the world benefits from increased bookings.

Imagine California without colourful Mexican tourists?

It’s not just tourists from the Middle East and other Muslim-majority countries who will be absent from the hotels, cities and restaurants accustomed to their visits; destinations popular with Mexican tourists look to be getting hit the hardest. California has always been a choice holiday hotspot for its neighbour, but following the ongoing negativity from Camp Trump, places like San Diego have lost their appeal.

Still, a New York City tourism agency have placed advertisements in Mexico, reiterating that America is a great place for a summer holiday and welcomes tourists.

Pleas from the industry

The NYC tourism agency, a Marriott Hotel boss, and one of America’s other core tourism organisations have all joined a growing number of concerned parties pleading with President Trump to do more to attract tourists. To be more hospitable.

A Bloomberg article took a positive slant on things, leading with ‘The Trump Effect on Tourism Is Overhyped’. However, when you read the bones of the story, it turns out to be more beat than upbeat. Bizarrely, it suggests the financial implications of Trump’s harsh rhetoric are good compared to devastating tragedies like 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis.

Does Trump even care?

In reality, banning the majority of travellers from six countries from visiting your country is bound to have financial implication on tourism. How could it not? But Trump is another president stating he’s fighting a war on terror, therefore one could presume he’s already predicted and calculated the losses, which gets tied up nicely and labelled as ‘collateral damage’.

Author: Ane Bravo

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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