Summertime, but where are the foreign tourists?
Ever since our forty-fifth president was elected, tourism to the United States from foreign countries has steadily dropped—in the face of a world-wide boom in travel—and the authoritative U.S. Travel Association has just provided me with figures projecting a further drop in 2018, from a share of worldwide tourism of 12.0 percent in 2017 to 11.7 percent this year. And this is after a drop in Trump’s first year in office from 12.9 percent. Though the numbers and differentials look small in percentages, they are large in terms of dollars not spent here by foreign tourists and they have serious negative implications for jobs not created.
What has caused this series of drops in foreign tourism since Donald Trump was sworn in as president? Trump’s rhetoric and new policies and rules and regulations regarding travel have combined to blot America’s long-standing image as a welcoming nation.
And of course his travel ban, a barely disguised version of the total ban on Muslims being allowed into this country he announced during his presidential campaign, inflamed worldwide opinion and in practical terms it barred visits by citizens of seven entire countries in the name of preventing terrorist attacks (though none have come from the countries the ban singled out).
The administration’s treatment of people attempting to flee here from violence-wracked Central American countries and Trump’s rhetoric about Mexico from the moment he entered the presidential race hasn’t encouraged Hispanics to come see our wondrous sights and enjoy our beautiful beaches. Trump’s withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord hasn’t helped, nor have his rows with the leaders of friendly nations, which began almost from when he took office. Neither has Trump’s launching of a trade war. New visa-vetting policies have also caused delays and denials that didn’t used to occur. The invasive new tightening of airport security has put off numerous travelers to this country.
Maybe all these changes have prevented would-be terrorists from entering the U.S., but they for sure have also discouraged or denied many visitors with benign intentions.
Curated from The Trump Slump Hits U.S. Tourism