A revised report by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) last Tuesday revealed that international tourism to the U.S. declined over the year so far, contrary to earlier reports of consistent growth. Many tourism experts believe that the decline is due to the current president and his policies regarding outsiders coming into the United States in particular.
Last year, the U.S. Travel Association inaugurated its Travel Trends Index (TTI) as calculated by Oxford Economics, using data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the International Air Transport Association, Sabre, and OAG, an air travel intelligence company. The purpose of the TTI is to anticipate any change in travel demand and keep track of any growth or decline.
As the USTA explained in a press release, last week’s report revised another one from earlier in the year and indicated “major storm clouds for the inbound international travel market.” The weakest months so far were February, when inbound international travel was down by 6.8 percent, and March, down by 8.2 percent.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, total international inbound travel to the U.S. had declined by 7.8 percent in March 2017 as compared to the previous year. Already turned off by the strength of the American dollar, international tourists are suspected by destination cities to feel unwelcome by the Trump administration.
“The President’s continued rhetoric and policies weigh heavily on the international inbound market outlook,” said Adam Sacks, president of Oxford Economics’ Tourism Economics group.
The United States is projected to lose $1.3 billion in travel-related spending from Europe and the Middle East alone, according to a report by the Global Business Travel Association in May.
Domestic travel, however, is expected to grow overall, despite a decline in July. It makes sense, considering the number of cities with great culinary scenes in the United States.