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Trump Slump takes hold as US tourism drops in early 2017

By Tom Anstey    21 Sep 2017
The 'Trump Slump' predicted a decline in inbound tourism to the US following the President's election. / Pool/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

Predictions of a fall in visitors to the US following the election of Donald Trump have become a reality, with a decline of nearly 700,000 in the first quarter of 2017.

Nicknamed the 'Trump Slump', the President’s proposed travel ban on visitors from six majority-Muslim countries and additionally his anti-immigrant stance in Mexico has had an effect on tourism figures.

New figures released by the Department of Commerce show 697,791 fewer visitors from overseas came to the US in the first three months of the year – a decrease of 4.2 per cent to 15.8 million.

For visitors to the US from Europe, tourism declines were largest in Switzerland (28 per cent), Belgium (20 per cent) and Britain (15.5 per cent) – with overall visitors from the continent declining 10.1 per cent. Significant drops also came from the Middle East and Africa, though those areas represent only a small percentage of overall travel to the US. In Mexico, visitor numbers dropped 7.1 per cent for the quarter.

Euromonitor first predicted the effects of the Trump Slump at the World Travel Market in November last year, saying that over the next five years, the US economy would reduce by just under five per cent, meaning that instead of a predicted growth of 1.5–2 per cent for 2017, the US economy would have marginal growth – around about 0.3 per cent this year.

Earlier this year a study by travel statistician firm Forward Keys revealed that there had been a 6.5 per cent drop globally in flight bookings to the US. Based on figures from last year, visitors coming into the US spent US$247bn (€207.4bn, £182.8bn) during 2016.

If those numbers declined over 2017 at the same rate as the drop in bookings, that would amount to a loss of roughly US$16bn (€13.4bn, £11.8bn) this year for the tourism industry in the US.

It has been estimated by Tourism Economics that the latest figures represent a loss of nearly US$2.7bn (€2.3bn, £2bn) in spending for the quarter.

Trump Slump  Donald Trump  US  visitor attractions  World Travel Market  Mexico  Britain  inbound tourism  tourism 
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