This article was published on February 25th, 2018
“I do plan on getting back to the U.S. soon, though, I will not until Trump is gone. I can’t go: too angry at the moment. All Americans I know are so beautiful. But I just hate Trump (and his policies) too much.” Dylan Goltz of Melbourne, Australia isn’t the only one not so keen on acting like Eddie Murphy and coming to America. A new, sad reality is that, now during the Trump Presidency, less and less foreigners, and especially LGBT travellers, are looking at the United States as a holiday destination. The Trump travel slump is very real and is inevitably going to hurt a huge American industry: tourism.
Surprising to some, but not others, the United States’ tourism industry is actually one of its largest, having contributed nearly $2 Trillion to the economy in 2017. The American travel and tourism industry produces 5.5 million jobs in the United States. Yet, there has been a definitive impact to the United States tourism industry as a direct result of the actions of the Trump Presidency. NBC news reports that the travel industry is down 4% of foreigners traveling to the States and has cost the economy an estimated $4.4 billion in the year since Donald Trump took office.
President Trump has issued several executive order travel bans, blocking visitors from numerous nations around the world from entering the United States. The actions of these orders, that have since been squashed by numerous judges around the country and deemed unconstitutional, have seen ripple effects around the world. Travelers with stamps from these banned countries were stopped and harassed, with some forbidden to enter the US. These travel bans have split up families and made vacationers wary of traveling to a less than forgiving, United States of Trump.
Just last month, President Trump referred to several nations like Haiti, Cuba, and African nations as “shit hole” countries. His insistence on building a wall between the United States and Mexico places him and the US at odds with the United Nations and friendships/partnerships/allied relations are crumbling as a result of Trump’s bigoted agenda.
These actions translate to a direct loss in leisure travel from destination visitors, and decreased domestic travel. Trump’s America is a disjointed one where his own longevity as American commander in chief is being questioned due to scandals with Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military and his administration’s removal of government protections for the LGBT community has queer people on edge about travel to the United States. American gays are scared to travel to states that Trump carried in the election.
The American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has issued travel warnings for Americans visiting states like Missouri due to a high concentration of racial tensions and issues. Since he has taken office, the amount of hate crimes has increased across the United States nearly 10%, making the United States less friendly for non-Americans.
Donald Trump campaigned on being an ally to the LGBT community but has proven not to be a supporter but to lie about wanting the best for the LGBT community. He has proven that he is more likely to tow the conservative line and try to appease his ultra conservative base to solidify his re-election versus caring for the country he supposedly loves. Gay men have a high disposable income, which allow them to travel around the world. The Trump Travel Slump impacts gay mecca cities like San Francisco, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and New York, but also events, like Matinee Las Vegas, White Party Palm Springs, and Winter Party Festival; however, the Trump Travel Slump has LGBT travellers selecting other destinations, other than the United States, for their holidays.
For someone who touts job creation, being a “smart business man”, and wanting to “make America great again”, Donald Trump seems to actually care very little for the United States and one of its biggest industries: tourism.