NEW YORK :-
The U.S. Travel Association says the Trump administration’s immigration policies are hurting tourism.
The nonprofit industry organization said in a statement that there are “mounting signs” of “a broad chilling effect on demand for international travel to the United States.”
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters disputed the contention, saying: “It takes several months for each month’s international arrival statistics to be processed and released to the public. To claim the executive order has had an impact on travel would be premature.”
But the U.S. Travel Association’s statement added to a growing chorus of concern from the travel industry over the impact of Trump administration policies on tourism.
Earlier this week, the tourism agency NYC & Company revised its 2017 forecast to predict a drop in inbound international travel to New York City, with 300,000 fewer visitors compared to 2016. It would be the first drop in visitation to New York since the start of the recession in 2008.
The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau told the Philadelphia Inquirer this week that it had lost out on an international meeting with 3,000 attendees that decided to go to Canada or Mexico instead.
And ForwardKeys, which tracks travel bookings, reported in February that international trends in bookings to the U.S. are down 6.5 percent compared with the equivalent period the year before.
“It’s known as the Trump Slump,” travel guru Arthur Frommer wrote last month on Frommers.com. He called it “an unintended consequence of the Trump-led efforts to stop many Muslims from coming to the U.S.,” resulting in “a sharp drop in foreign tourism to our nation that imperils jobs and touristic income.”
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said there’s concern that many international travelers have interpreted Trump’s policies as “wanting to discourage international visitors generally, not just those who pose a security risk.”
Trump’s initial ban on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen was suspended following a court order, but a revised executive order on visas and immigration is expected soon.
The U.S. Travel Association urged the administration to make clear in any revised order “that the U.S. welcomes and values legitimate international business and leisure travelers.”