PHOTO: Will travelers feel welcome in Donald Trump's America? (Photo via Flickr)
Will “Make America Great Again” inspire international visitors to come to the U.S.? A new report from MarketWatch suggests travelers from around the world could be more hesitant to visit.
According to a study by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, the president-elect’s policies “threaten to curb” the travel industry.
“In recent months a strong dollar coupled with weak global economic growth have already slowed inbound tourism to the U.S., particularly for tourists from Latin American countries,” wrote Kari Paul.
Tump’s policies may compound this issue.
“While the U.S. economy could benefit from the lower taxes he has proposed, any growth would be offset by global uncertainty about what policies will be implemented under his governance,” noted Paul.
One of the biggest problems may not even be policy but rhetoric by Trump and other leaders.
“The main risk is that the rhetoric of the Trump administration conveys a distant, unwelcoming stance,” Adam Sacks, an author on the study, told MarketWatch. “In this sense, the challenge could have more to do with perceptions than reality.”
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There is a precedent for the pulling away of international visitors. Statistics show that, from 2000 to 2006, when many countries viewed the U.S. unfavorably due to its wars in the Middle East, there was a decline in visitation.
Christopher Elliott, consumer advocate and author of “How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler,” told Marketwatch that “the majority of travel to the U.S. comes from Europe, which has thus far viewed Trump unfavorably.”
Elliott also noted that many minority groups may also feel unwelcome.
“He said he was going to build a wall — I don’t think Mexican tourists are going to feel very welcome here,” Elliott told MarketWatch.
However, things could also go the other way.
“I think a lot of outsiders are still going to come to the states, maybe they are going to be fascinated by what we are doing here,” Elliott told MarketWatch. “It’s kind of like rubber necking to look at an accident, people are going to want to come just to see what it’s like now in Trump’s America.”
Will they like what they see when they get here? Read on here for more.