People, Travel

US Tourist Numbers Sliding

US Tourist Numbers SlidingUS Tourist Numbers Sliding

Policies and rhetoric streaming out of the US administration of Donald Trump are hurting the travel market, according to a study recently released by Foursquare.

The American share of the International tourism market saw a decline of 16% in March—a trend that started during October 2016 when that share experienced a drop of 6%. In total, tourism into the states is down, Travel Pulse reported.

“Over the full October 2016 to March 2017 timeframe, there was an average decrease of 11% YOY,” Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck notes in the report.

That’s particularly troubling as the domestic industry enjoyed modest growth year-on-year in August and September. But the truly painful part is the fact that travel seems to be up elsewhere: “Share of visits for leisure categories in other countries is up year-on-year by about 6%, by definition at the expense of the US since we are talking about market share.”

The big question then would have to be what could cause such a discrepancy, especially when American visits had just increased prior to the period that began in October 2016.

Glueck continues in his report: “From our data, residents of the Middle East and Central/South America are avoiding the US more than residents of Asia, Europe and elsewhere. It goes without saying that some of the current administration’s most controversial policies have been focused on countries within the Middle East and Latin America, and that we’re seeing a greater impact in travel from these nations.”

It is noted that there are other events that would affect travel, namely a strong dollar and relatively weakening euro, but Glueck continues: “It seems unlikely that these small currency movements are the only factor triggering such an elastic result. This is reinforced by the regional disparities, which suggest more than pure exchange rate cost is at work.”

While the trend started well before Trump took office and began signing travel bans and putting into motion much of what was promised during his campaign, Glueck argues that it is that very campaign which left a bad taste with travelers. It was, perhaps, its controversial and heated tone that had many looking elsewhere well before Trump took his presidential oath.


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