As Trump holds photo ops with CEO’s; the Global Business Travel Association estimates a revenue loss of $185 million since Donald Trump was elected. Industry insiders call it the Trump Slump.
The Guardian points to other data that proves Trump’s hate filled presidency is bad for tourism. The Travel search engine, Kayak reports a 58% decline in searches for flights to Tramp and Orlando from the U.K. Searches for flights to Miami were down by 52%. There was a 43% drop in searches for San Diego, a 36% drop for Las Vegas and a 32% decline in searches for Los Angeles.
Last month, Hopper released data showing flight searches from international origins to the United States dropped by 17% since Trump’s inauguration when compared with the last weeks of Barack Obama’s administration.
According to MarketWatch‘s reporting, Oxford Economics predicts that Trump’s anti-Immigrant policies could reduce our GDP by .5%.
In 2015, the travel industry had the largest trade surplus of any economic sector – at $98 billion, from its $250 billion in sales to foreigners.
Without the travel industry, the trade deficit Trump says he wants to fix would be significantly larger at an estimated $600 billion instead of $500 billion.
That’s the thing about spreading lies about foreigners. Trump may be appeasing his base, but it comes at a cost to all of us. Part of that cost can be measured in flight searches, lost revenue and projections about the adverse effect on the GDP.
However, these numbers are a result of the less tangible cost of what Trump and his policies are doing to our reputation around the world. People are noticing an increasingly aggressive ICE. They know that Trump’s America means the government has an unrestricted right to seize anyone’s electronic devices and demand passwords to invade our private business. People are also noticing that hate crimes have skyrocketed, with minimal concern by the president. They have read about people being gunned down by white guys making racist statements like “Go back to your own country” even when this is their victim’s “own country.”
No doubt people around the world who could be tourists are reading about the bomb threats to Jewish community centers and the hate based vandalism.
They’re seeing an unraveling of the America that believed in a free press, government accountability, and winning elections honestly vs. in collusion with dictators. They are hearing a president repeat debunked lies about immigrants and people who live in other parts of the world.
All of this signals that America is being led to a dark place by an unstable president – hardly selling points for the travel industry.
The increasingly draconian policies coupled with the upsurge in hate-based criminal behavior against people of color or otherwise suspected as being people who don’t “belong” in America amount to putting a going out of business sign on the travel industry – potentially increasing our trade deficit and attacking our GDP. All of this is about making America a shadow of its former self – the polar opposite of greatness.