Tourism in the United States is a large industry that serves millions of international and domestic tourists yearly. Tourists visit the US to see natural wonders, cities, historic landmarks, and entertainment venues. Americans seek similar attractions, as well as recreation and vacation areas. In the US, tourism is either the first, second, or third largest employer in 29 states, and tourists spend more money in the United States than any other country, while attracting the second-highest number of tourists after France. Where do these tourists come from?
|Total (worldwide)||69,025,896|| 67,519,113
Today, however, according to reports published by the Guardian, the U.S. travel industry is experiencing what they referred to as a ‘Trump slump’.
“Interest in travel to the US has “fallen off a cliff” since Donald Trump’s election, according to travel companies who have reported a significant drop in flight searches and bookings since his inauguration and controversial travel ban.
Data released this week by travel search engine Kayak reported a 58% decline in searches for flights to Tampa and Orlando from the UK, and a 52% decline in searches for Miami. Searches for San Diego were also down 43%, Las Vegas by 36% and Los Angeles 32%.”
In just over a month, we are on track to lose billions of dollars in one of our largest industries. And this is how to “make America great again”? I think not.
In light of the fact that perfectly innocent people are being detained in airports as they arrive in the U.S., sometimes for several hours, causing them to miss connecting flights, it is understandable that they would choose an alternate spot to spend their hard-earned money. I have personally advised at least two friends against coming to the U.S. this year for reasons of safety and convenience. Let’s face it, the U.S. is not a happy place to be these days.
Even though the travel ban was blocked temporarily by a federal judge and the suspension upheld by a panel of appeals court judges, it is largely interpreted as a deep hostility to the world beyond America’s shores. Interestingly, while the overall decline in bookings for travel to the U.S. is 17%, bookings from Russia to the U.S. have increased by 88%! Explain that one, Donnie-boy!
Not only is tourism affected, but business travel has dropped off as well. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which represents corporate travel managers, found that business travel transactions in America declined by 3.4% over the course of just one week following the president’s order, costing the travel industry an estimated $185 billion! If that trend continues, it could lead to a loss of some 71,000 jobs and a $5 billion drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
It is not only the travel ban that is detracting tourism, but in many places, there is a general dislike of Trump that is turning tourists toward other, more friendly destinations. And then, of course, there is that ‘great wall’ that Trump threatens to build, keeping out the 19 million or so tourists that come here annually from Mexico.
Other countries stand to benefit from our loss. Just because a vacation to the U.S. is not in the cards, does not mean people won’t take vacations. Likely to benefit are countries such as Mexico, Thailand, Brazil, New Zealand and of course, Europe.
Articles similar to that in the Guardian have also appeared in the past week in The Economist, Boston Globe, New York Times, and Forbes, to name a few. The Guardian article has already generated some 2,297 comments, such as these:
- Definitely. Was considering going to New York again this May, not now, no way. Do not fancy the muslim teacher treatment
- Least surprising thing since it was discovered sticking your hand in fire causes pain.
- Was considering a driving holiday for a month on the West Coast for my honeymoon but not any more! Sad.
- Come to New England; we don’t like Trump any more than you do!
- It’s such a shame – the US has so many great, decent people but you’ve been saddled with this goon.
- I flew to NY for work two weeks ago on United and I have never been on such an empty plane. Everyone had a row to themselves and there were still empty rows. Lucky if it was a third full. Personally I wondered if I would look back on it the way someone visiting Germany in 1934 might have done. If it wasn’t a long-standing work commitment I wouldn’t have gone.
I repeat what I have said before … I believe Trump and his fans have a slightly different definition of ‘greatness’ than most of us. Goocbye, tourists … we shall miss you! 😥