United States Faces Declining Number Of Incoming Tourists

by -

There have been plenty of discussions about how the travel and electronic bans and the hostility towards foreigners in general by the current administration will affect the number of incoming tourists to the United States.

Trump Travel Slump

Marriott released figures indicating that important segment of tourists from the Middle East had made a reduced number of bookings and Emirates yesterday announced capacity cuts to its’ flights to the United States citing the bans as a reason. Now, Tourism Economis has produced a study that tries to quantify the impact in both number of tourists and money that would have been spent in the United States.

Here’s an excerpt from Travel Weekly (access the piece here):

The rhetoric around president Trump’s US travel ban has damaged the US brand, experts say.

A study has forecast that president Trump’s travel ban could spark a 10.6 million decline in visitors to the US between this year and next.

Tourism Economics predicts the drop, which it expects to be nearly 7% of expected travellers, could cost the US economy $18 billion and 107,000 jobs.

“But the whole rhetoric around it has damaged the US brand as a destination. It’s a very discretionary market. It takes very little for them to shift their travel plan and preferences.”

The Economist also writes about this issue (access here) of which you can find an excerpt below:

Hopper, a travel app, found that average daily searches for flights to America have declined in 99 countries since Mr Trump tried to issue his travel ban, compared with the last weeks of Barack Obama’s term. Russia is one of the few places where demand has risen (see chart). Tourism Economics, a forecaster, expects 2m fewer foreign visits to America this year, a 1% drop from 2016. Without Mr Trump it had expected a 3% jump.

Trump Travel Slump Search

The industry has been here before. International tourism in America slumped by around 3% each year from 2000 to 2006. Most analysts blame not only the attacks of 2001 but stricter visa rules and anti-American sentiment abroad. Countries that had the dimmest view of America, according to surveys during that period, tended to see drops in travellers there, says Adam Sacks of Tourism Economics


There should soon be travel bargains when flying to/from United States if airlines follow Emirates’ lead and reduce capacity. Also, hotels are likely to discount their inventory if occupancy rates drop to stimulate demand.

Tourists consume all kind of services that lead to higher employment. Interesting to see the actualized numbers sometime in 2019 in number of foreign visitors and their reduced economic impact.

If you enjoyed this article, get our blog updates for free!


  • SydneySwan

    I was a frequent visitor to the US when the AUD / USD rate was more or less parity. I am a less frequent visitor now with the AUD having declined 25%. However when Bush / Obama / Clinton, etc. were presidents I never gave the political angle a second thought. Unfortunately with Trump in charge and all the unpredictability that that seems to bring, it certainly enters the equation negatively.

    For example, you don’t want to be halfway across the Pacific for Trump to announce that ESTAs have been cancelled immediately and visas have to be applied for in the ‘old’ way (i,e, at the US consulate where you live). Could this happen? You would hope not. But you could imagine Trump doing something like it whereas all previous presidents seem to have had a better understanding of due process and more respect for the law.

    I have taken part in two surveys recently regarding the attractiveness of the USA as a tourist destination and both seemed to be trying to determine the extent of Trump’s negative influence on inbound tourism to the US. So it is obviously an issue. If the exchange rate moved in my favour, would I visit soon? Hopefully yes. But I would consider the political situation there which I have never done before.