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U.S. Travel Industry on impeachment of President Trump

U.S. Travel Industry stand on impeachment of President Trump

The Trump slump does not apply to tourism to Tennessee. The impeachment of President Donald Trump has helped tourism in the United States, specifically in Tennesse, the home and burial site of Andrew Johnson. Johnson was the first president to be impeached back in 1868 and more and more visitors are curious to learn more.

Tennessee has been a favorite among visitors wanting to learn about impeachment, but unfortunately, the rest of the travel and tourism industry in the  United States had declined when it comes to international arrivals. International tourism to the U.S. began to go down after Trump took office, leading to a so-called “Trump slump.”

Inbound US arrivals have dropped a total of 1.4% since January 1 in 2017  while global inbound arrivals grew by 4.6%. Europeans started avoiding the United States after President Trump announced his travel bans. It resulted in a sudden 12% drop of European Travelers arriving in the U.S.  Travel industry experts say the number of arrivals impacted so quickly is startling.

Looking at the number of U.S. inbound arrivals in 2017 – or the number of international tourists arriving at airports around the country – ForwardKey research found that the number of visitors dropped 1.3% following the announcement of the first travel ban on January 27. On June 26, when the second ban was partially re-instated, inbound visitors dropped again by 2.8%.

Calling immigrants rapists, imposing travel bans did not help the image for the U.S either. The United States was no longer seen as a welcoming country by many international travelers

The United States lost its spot as the world’s second-most popular destination for foreign travel. France is number one, and Spain is now number two.

About half of all foreign visitors to the U.S. come from Mexico and Canada, with the rest coming from Europe, Japan, China, and Brazil.

The 3.3 percent spending drop in 2017 translates to losses of $4.6 billion spent in the U.S. economy and 40,000 jobs. The latest data from 2018 shows a 3.3 percent drop in travel spending and a 4 percent decline in inbound travel.

“It’s not a reach to say the rhetoric and policies of this administration are affecting sentiment around the world, creating antipathy toward the U.S. and affecting travel behavior,” Adam Sacks, the president of Tourism Economics, told The New York Times.

However with domestic tourism in the picture, total tourism-related employment (the sum of direct and indirect jobs) increased from 9.0 million jobs in 2017 to 9.2 million jobs in 2018. The 9.2 million jobs were comprised of 5.9 million direct tourism jobs and 3.3 million indirect tourism jobs (chart 5). Indirect tourism jobs consist of jobs related to the production of goods and services that supply the tourism industry, such as refinery workers producing jet fuel. The updated statistics indicate that for every 100 jobs supported directly from travel and tourism, an additional 55 jobs are needed to support the industry.

The travel and tourism industry—as measured by the real output of goods and services sold directly to visitors—increased 4.2 percent in 2018, according to the most recent statistics from the Travel and Tourism Satellite Account (TTSA) published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). This is an acceleration from the 2.3 percent growth in 2017. These new statistics show growth in the travel and tourism industry for the last 9 years. Employment in the travel and tourism industry grew more slowly than real output, growing 1.5 percent in 2018.

With international visitation to the U.S. continuing to decline, travel industry leaders say they plan to form a coalition of American businesses to send the message that the country welcomes foreign tourists.

Jonathan Grella, executive vice president of public affairs for the U.S. Travel Association  said the declining visitor numbers are an “undeniable wake-up call that we must turn this into a national priority.”

The trade group plans to launch a coalition with other U.S. industries, called “Visit US,” he said. The goal is to send the message that the U.S. welcomes international visitors, Grella said, adding that the travel group plans to announce details of the coalition in the next few weeks.

“We want to get to the place that the administration says we are closed for terrorism but open for business,” Jonathan Grella of TravelPuls said.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.