Say what you want about hotel kingpin, avid golf cheater and president-in-his-spare-time Donald Trump—no, really, go ahead and say what you want!—but he is not doing his hotel industry friends any favors. International tourism to the United States has been in decline under his tenure, due to his travel bans, the ambiguity of his travel bans, the assortment of new “security” restrictions on international flights, the xenophobia his statements continue to stoke and the general world impression that this nation is a more dangerous place to visit than it was back when we had presidents who could tie their own shoes in the morning without making a blustering statement about nuclear war.
The drop is about four percent, which does not sound like much—but we’re dealing with big numbers here. Most travel destinations would kill for a bump upward of four percent; a bump in the other direction is dire. And so the U.S. Travel Association will be mounting a new effort to encourage foreign visitors even if President Citrus Tantrum doesn’t personally want them here.
The trade group plans to launch a coalition with other U.S. industries, called “Visit US,” he said. The goal is to send the message that the U.S. welcomes international visitors, Grella said, adding that the travel group plans to announce details of the coalition in the next few weeks.
He declined to blame Trump’s anti-immigration diatribes for the decline in visitors but said “a very big portion of the coalition’s work is to promote more balanced rhetoric.”
Oooh, do we get to make suggestions for the new rhetoric? How about “We didn’t mean YOU were a rapist, just those other rapists” or “America: If you’re rich you can do anything.” Pretty much anything would be better than the current White House versions.
So here’s a question. Donald is, himself, a hotel and resort owner. It’s a big deal to him—a much bigger deal than being president. So is he going to be chipping in on this industry-wide effort, or did his wee little pockets shrivel up again?