President Trump may be trying to ban people from countries deemed at risk for US security, but he is also keeping out leisure and business travelers at an alarming pace, according to a new study. The US is expected to lose more than 10.6 million visitors between this year and next costing more than $18 billion and 107,000 jobs. The study, compiled by the Tourism Economics, a forecasting firm, has found that more than half of lost business has been as a result of reduced travel Canada and Mexico as well as concern that less travelers from the UK and Europe will cause further devastation to the travel economy.
“The travel ban, such as it is, would affect less than 0.1% of all visitors. But the whole rhetoric around it has damaged the U.S. brand as a destination,” said Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics. “It’s a very discretionary market. It takes very little for them to shift their travel plan and preferences.”
This is not to say that it’s all Trump’s fault, for a long time travelers have been taking advantage of a relatively weak dollar, and with a strong dollar travelers aren’t seeing the deals they once did.
Business traveler and planners are also seeing changes to their business. “They have choices,” McCormick said. “You’re not going to exclude people you hope to have in the meeting for fear that they can’t or won’t come.” He said Trump’s policies are causing “a perception of uncertainty.” [CNN]