More than a quarter of UK holidaymakers are less likely to go to the US while Donald Trump is in the White House, while 40% of the travel trade say the US is not a country to do business with under the current president, according to research released Monday 6 November at World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry.
When asked: “Has Donald Trump’s presidential election made you more or less likely to visit the USA in the future?” 27% of holidaymakers said they were less likely to do so, the World Travel Market 2017 Industry Report reveals.
And, of the key industry travel executives who took part in research for the report, 40% do not think the US is good place to do business with for as long as Trump is president.
When presented with the statement: “With Donald Trump as president, America is a country to do business with,” 19% said they strongly disagreed and 21% disagreed slightly. Only 15% agreed with the statement, with 44% neither agreeing or disagreeing.
The World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report also reveals 16% of travel industry executives said the Trump election has had the biggest impact on their organisation in the past year, with 16% adapting their marketing strategy as a result of the US presidential election.
Trump is not unpopular with everyone, however, with 6% of holidaymakers saying they would be more likely to visit the US now he is in power. Two-thirds (67%) say Trump’s presidency makes no difference to their decision.
The findings of the World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report follow a pattern of a decline in interest among the public over visiting the US since the election.
For example, travel searches for flights to the US dropped by 13% immediately after the election result a year ago, according to comparison site Cheapflights.co.uk.
Six months later, in April 2017, the US Travel Association revealed UK visitor numbers were down 6% compared to the previous year, leading CEO Roger Dow to conclude: “Brand America is in trouble”.
In the week following the Trump Administration’s controversial executive order, signed on January 27, aimed at banning travel to the US from seven mainly Muslim countries, international visitors dropped 6.5% year-on-year, according to data company ForwardKeys.
Searches dropped by 17% in the same week, according to Hopper, the flight app.
Then, in March, Emirates airlines president Sir Tim Clark said the proposed travel ban had led to a dip in bookings of more than a third from Dubai and, while bookings later picked up, they didn’t rise to predicted levels.
All in all, a drop-off in tourism is predicted to result in 4.3 million fewer visitors this year, which adds up to a staggering loss of $7.4 billion in revenue for the US, according to the Global Business Travel Association.
More insight into the effect of the ‘Trump Slump’ will be exclusively revealed tomorrow, Tuesday, November 7, in the Top 100 City Destination Ranking WTM London Edition, by Euromonitor International.
The report highlights how performance of major tourist cities in the US is expected to fall behind cities in Canada and Latin America in 2017, with New York – the top-performing US city – revising its forecasts.
WTM London’s Paul Nelson, said: “Since the announcement a year ago, on the last day of WTM London 2016, that Donald Trump had been voted in as the next US president, there has been concern and speculation about what effect a Trump presidency would have on tourism.
“Many of his policies, tweets and executive orders have proved controversial and have impacted on travel and tourism and there is now clear evidence that some people are being put off visiting the US and some of travel’s top executives are concerned about the Trump effect on their businesses.
“As our exclusive research reveals, one in four holidaymakers have been put off visiting the US because of Trump, while 40% of travel executives do not agree the US is a good place to do business with him as president.
“The US is one of the world’s key destinations and has long been popular among Brits. It is important that America gets the message out that not only is it still open for visitors but that it continues to be a warm, welcoming and great-value destination.”
eTN is a media partner for WTM.