Over the course of the presidential campaign, and after the election, real economists warned that everything about the Trump is harmful to the economy. Whether it is following Kansas’ Republicans failed tax cuts for the rich, deporting Hispanic immigrants, or drastic downsizing of federal agencies and killing jobs, there is nothing positive to note about Trump and the Heritage Foundation’s goal of deconstructing the government.
Now the Trump has just ordered a new atrocity targeting business travelers and tourists that will just add to the monumental loss of tourism dollars due to the rest of the world being terrified of coming to America; even for a vacation, a business trip and even if the tourists are white Christians wanting to visit a sick relative, they are afraid to visit Trump’s America.
The latest move just reported amounts to “extreme vetting” that targets anyone applying for a visa to visit America whether it is to work, to attend business meetings, tourism or visiting sick family members. It is probably true that the Trump and his savage acolytes believe that anything Trump does to frighten the rest of the world is heroic, but it will cost America close to $11 billion and kill off roughly 90,000 jobs “by the end of the year.”
Those numbers are courtesy of an economic consulting firm, Tourism Economics of Wayne, Pennsylvania, that assessed the numbers from various airline and travel booking websites; they projected that the United States will “lose 6.3 million visits by the end of next year.” Those numbers were “crunched” prior to yesterday’s new extreme vetting directive and will certainly translate into a lot more than losing $10.8 billion in tourist spending. The tourism firm is calling the massive job and revenue loss “Trump-induced losses” and a direct attack on the tourism industry.
Tourism Economics president, Adam Sacks, said:
“It doesn’t take very much uncertainty or antipathy to influence decisions away from a given travel destination. Ultimately, destinations and companies are in the business of building a brand and a message that is welcoming .… All the ‘America first’ rhetoric in various policy areas like trade, diplomacy and immigration is conveying the exact opposite.’’
In an Australian magazine, “Traveler,” a recent headline read “Think twice about visiting America if you don’t want the ‘Mem Fox’ treatment.’’ The “Mem Fox” reference was to an Australian author who said she would never return to the United States after being detained and questioned at the Los Angeles International Airport while traveling to attend a literary conference.
A similar warning was issued by The Toronto Star newspaper that published a commentary in late January calling on Canadians to forgo unnecessary trips to the U.S. until Trump is out of office. It appears that even before the warnings, Canadians were already “forgoing” any trips to America out of fear of the Trump.
According to the manager and part-owner of a popular Canadian travel agency, Al Qanun related that “Even white, Anglo-Saxon people, who are most of our customers, [they] are afraid of crossing the border. They don’t want to end up in some prison.”
Mr. Qanun also said Canadian families used to pile onto a tour bus and head to New York over the Spring Break hiatus to see the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, and other attractions. This year instead of the busy season for the Toronto-based agency that typically books between 200 and 300 tourists to New York in March, only 11 people were willing to brave Trump’s America. Mr. Qanun lamented that “I know politics is politics, but whenever Trump opens his mouth, it shakes our business.’’
It is important to note, and debunk any bullshit excuse from Trump before he can lie that the loss of tourism dollars is not due to the countries included in Trump’s original or second Muslim ban because they only account for 0.1% of incoming travelers. It is a minuscule percentage of the tourism trade and in no possible scenario does that one-tenth of one percent explain the loss of billions of dollars and tens-of-thousands of jobs as a result of Trump.
What does, however, explain the losses is the palpable “atmosphere of fear at the nation’s airports, and well-publicized incidents of visitors being detained and interrogated” by Trump operatives who are terrifying prospective visitors to America; including white people without the slightest connection to the Muslim world.
It is probably true that to Trump and his nativist sycophants, losing close to $11 billion in tourism revenue is well worth scaring foreign travelers enough to avoid visiting America like they would avoid plague. It is also equally true that killing off at least 90,000 American jobs is appealing to the Trump zealots if those jobs are lost due to foreigners’ fear of America. However, for the 90,000 Americans who lose their jobs and the tourism industry’s prospect of losing $11 billion by the end of the year, it is likely not worth it to create an atmosphere where even white Christian tourists are terrified of visiting Trump’s America.