Last updated: 10:55 PM ET, Thu July 09 2015

Apple Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, Lead Travel's Trump Backlash

Tour Operator | Apple Vacations | Theresa Norton | July 09, 2015

Apple Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, Lead Travel's Trump Backlash

PHOTO: The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago. (Via Wikipedia)

Add Apple Vacations and Pleasant Holidays to the list of companies disassociating from Donald Trump in the wake of his disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants.

Apple Vacations has canceled plans to host its annual Golden Apple Gala, which honors top hotels and resorts, at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago on Sept. 14. The event will still take place on that date, but in a different venue expected to be announced next week.

“This change is compelled by the various highly publicized comments made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump disparaging Mexico and immigrants to the U.S.” Apple President Timothy Mullen wrote in a July 9 letter to travel partners. “As you know, Apple Vacations is the largest Mexico-bound tour operator with close ties to the government and the tourism industry of Mexico, and our annual event has a very strong focus on Mexico. We have heard loud and clear from many prospective attendees about their opposition to attending the event at any Trump-branded property.

“In addition, Mr. Trump’s expressed views are certainly sharply at odds with our own views at Apple Vacations, as we have a deep appreciation for the work ethic and social values of Mexicans living in the United States and abroad.”

On the same day as Apple Vacations' announcement, Pleasant Holidays announced that it had suspended sales of all Trump International Hotels in its portfolio until the company "receives greater clarity on statements by Donald Trump about Mexican immigrants made during his presidential candidacy announcement." Hotels affected by the move include Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk, Trump International Hotel Las Vegas and Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower Panama. All current bookings for these hotels will be honored, however no future bookings will be taken until further notice. 

During his rambling June 16 announcement that he was running for president, Trump said this about immigration: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

After that, many companies began cutting ties with Trump and cancelling plans for major events at his properties, including Macy’s, NBC Universal and PGA of America.

Apple’s Golden Apple Gala is a high-profile affair that draws hoteliers and tourism officials from all over the world, including a large number from Mexico. Last year’s gala was held at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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