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There are many different perspectives on how the travel and tourism industry will be affected by a Trump presidency. TravelPulse spoke to many people from the travel industry in the hours after the election to get their take and an article in The New York Times highlights more thoughts from those in the industry.
The article points to experts who are concerned about the attractiveness of travel to the U.S.
“If certain groups are targeted, if hate speech is tolerated against certain ethnicities, inbound travel will dry up,” Henry Harteveldt, the founder of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry research company, told The New York Times. “It will be bad for us.”
Harteveldt added that “[Trump] is going to have to show that he can be magnanimous and can have a broader vision, which will be very important for international trade and inbound tourism.”
Gary Leff, founder of the View From the Wing travel blog and a co-founder of the frequent flier site InsideFlyer.com, told The New York Times that “the world likely sees the United States as less open to tourism and immigration.”
There was optimism about the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and mass deportation, which people believed were too complex to be accomplished. Another concern was the stability of the U.S. economy and whether or not Americans would travel if there was a weaker dollar.
“Travel is a discretionary product,” Harteveldt told The Times. “If the economy isn’t good, travel is always one of the first areas where consumers start to cut back.”
The will to travel will also depend on how Americans are perceived abroad.
“It will also hinge on how Americans think they will be treated when they go abroad, something people typically gauge based on what they’re seeing in State Department reports, news media and on their fellow travelers’ Facebook and Twitter feeds. They will ask themselves whether they feel it’s safe to travel, or whether they think, by virtue of their president, they will be targets of anti-American sentiments,” writes Stephanie Rosenbloom in The Times.
One of the bright spots for the industry was Trump’s possible commitment to rebuilding the country’s crumbling infrastructure.
“We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals,” Trump said during his victory speech. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.”
Other unknowns of a Trump presidency concern travel to Cuba and the survival of the Trump hotel brand. For more on the health of the travel and tourism industry under the president-elect, read on here.