While Trump’s travel ban refers to the actual travel ban he instated for certain majority-Muslim countries in 2017, the US president is now inadvertently causing another type of travel ban: one that international tourists are imposing on themselves.
In short, people don’t want to visit the United States, at least not as they did in the past. And, it’s due, in a large part, to the attitude Trump has taken towards visitors and immigrants. Instead of heading to the United States, travellers are opting for European destinations like France and Spain.
There’s a lot to know about Trump’s travel ban and all that it entails. The US president is affecting travel to the United States, and it could have a resounding effect on the tourism industry for years to come.
Trump’s Travel Ban: What To Know
1. What Countries Are Affected By Trump’s Travel Ban?
When Trump first instated the travel ban back in 2017, it banned citizens from seven countries from travelling to the United States: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, as well as Venezuela and North Korea. This week, the Trump administration has released a statement saying they’re looking to extend the ban widen the ban to also include Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus.
2. Foreign Tourists Aren’t Happy With The US
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s caused the decline in foreign tourism to the United States, but it does correlate somewhat with Trump’s presidency. Coincidence or not, tourism to the US has been on a decline since 2015 (a year before Trump won the election). In 2015, the country took 13.7% of global international tourism share; that dropped to 11.7% in 2018, with a forecast by the U.S. Travel Association suggesting it could drop to nearly 10% by 2020.
3. Trade Tensions Might Be A Leading Cause
Aside from Trump’s travel ban, the US president garnered international attention after the imposed trade tariffs he delivered back in 2018. The US has imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods. And, experts think that the decrease in global tourism numbers could be due to a decline in Chinese tourists after the tariffs were imposed.
4. Trump Proposed Cuts To Tourism Marketing Funding
In 2017, the Trump administration proposed a budget that would completely eliminate Brand USA, which promotes the United States as a tourism destination to foreign visitors. The proposed budget divert funding away from tourism marketing and instead would go to fund the border wall. Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, noted that “Brand USA isn’t funded with a dime of taxpayer money and reduced the deficit by $50 million.”
5. Tourism’s Growing In Other Countries
According to the numbers, international tourism has increased overall. From 2015 to 2018, international tourism to the United States grew by 3.1%. However, it’s increased a whole lot more to other destinations. Oxford Economics showed that it increased by 17% to France, 49% to Mexico, and 41% to Spain.
6. Travellers Felt Scared To Visit The US
In 2017, shortly after the travel ban, Buzzfeed did an unofficial poll that showed that travellers were scared to visit the United States. Numerous readers noted that they might have still wanted to visit but felt differently about their trip. Or, a few even reported that they changed their travel plans. One noted that they even switched the entire location of their post-graduate degree program from the United States to the more immigrant-friendly Canada.
7. Spain’s Excelling At Tourism Campaigns
Unlike the United States, Spain has done a great job with marketing. It’s led to an increase in the number of international tourists by nearly 50%. For the past two years, Spain has targeted big spenders from other European countries and even the United States. How? Intriguing foodie campaigns and lots of strategic partnerships with influencers.