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The Trump Slump: Tourism to the U.S. in Decline

International tourism to the United States has been at a continuous decline since the beginning of this year, or around the time Donald Trump took office.  Tourism to the U.S. has dropped as much as 16% in the months since Donald Trump became president, with no respite to the decline in sight.  Foreign tourism accounts for $250 billion worth of business in the United States every year, an industry that is vital to the U.S.’s economy as well as the livelihood of many Americans.  So far this year, there have been 4.3 million fewer visitors which adds up to roughly a loss of $7.4 billion in revenue. The effects of this administration’s actions are reflected in the numbers: data and money points to an unhappy international audience. 

The reasons for the decline can be linked to the effects of Trump’s travel ban as well as a rhetoric of unwelcomeness that has deterred visitors from traveling to the U.S.  International tourism to the U.S dropped 6.5% in the eight days following Trump’s proposed travel ban on January 27th. Many international travelers are finding that U.S.’s “America first” rhetoric pronounced during Trump’s campaign is finding consistent expression through policy.  The travel ban as well as other anti-immigrant and anti-foreign policies have sent a message to international markets that America is no longer a welcoming destination.  The increased scrutiny at airports and U.S. borders has made tourists less likely to visit.  Many potential tourists, visitors of color specifically, do not want to vacation in a country where they may experience discrimination or racism from Americans who subscribe to heavily nationalistic sentiments. 

International tourists are beginning to show their opinions concerning the U.S.’s current state with their wallets.  Many industry officials involved in tourism or business have expressed worry at the declining numbers, fearful that it will continue to diminish as the Trump administration stands unwavering of their nationalistic message. Not only does the tourism industry have something to lose, but industries like tech and business could also lose out from a poor international reputation.  Many Silicon Valley companies state that things like Trump’s travel ban and other orders would make it more difficult to “attract talent, business, and investment to the United States”.  The travel ban resulted in enhanced vetting procedures for all foreign visitors which could further discourage not only foreign tourists but people venturing to the U.S. for business and education as well. Greeley Koch, executive director of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives states that, “It could be a snowball from there because people get frustrated.  They think the U.S. is anti-business”. 

Is your business hurting from the declining tourism in the United States? Looking for ways to grow your business?

Contact us today to schedule a free 30 minute consulting session to review how we may be able to help. Piedmont Avenue Consulting, Inc. is a San Francisco Bay Area based business development and marketing consulting firm that creates strong brand awareness and strengthens customer loyalty. We help businesses increases lead generation through leveraging new technologies and streamlining business processes and find ways to sustain themselves even in times of low tourism. 

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