Travel industry group slams Trump's call to close the borders

Travel industry group slams Trump's call to close the borders

The travel industry is striking back against calls from Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems win from coast to coast Falwell after Gillespie loss: 'DC should annex' Northern Virginia Dems see gains in Virginia's House of Delegates MORE to close American borders following terrorist attacks in Brussels.

The U.S. Travel Association released a statement condemning the attacks, while pushing policymakers to address security threats in a nuanced way.

"Words matter and move markets,” said the group’s president and CEO, Roger Dow, without directly mentioning Trump. “It's just not realistic to ban religions, order war crimes, and end international travel. Bombast and bluster are no substitutes for thoughtful leadership.”

“We urge U.S. leaders to continue to embrace policies that emphasize collecting information in the most sophisticated and innovative ways possible in order to advance our ability to prevent such attacks here in the U.S. and abroad,” he said.

The U.S. Travel Association represents members in various sectors of the travel and hospitality industry, including Airbnb, the car rental company Enterprise Holdings, Carnival Corp. cruise lines, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Hilton Hotels, Big Bus Tours, Caesars Entertainment, local tourism authorities and airports.

Not long after news of the three explosions that occurred in the Belgian capital of Brussels, Trump called into Fox & Friends and urged a tightening of U.S. borders.

“I would close up our borders to people until we figure out what’s going on,” Trump said on the program Tuesday morning. “We have to be very, very vigilant with who we let into this country.”  

“We don’t know who they are or where they’re from,” Trump continued. “We don’t learn. I will tell you I’ve been talking about this for a long time. This whole thing will get worse as time goes by.” 

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller, helped edit Trump speech: report Bannon jokes Clinton got her ‘ass kicked’ in 2016 election MORE slammed Trump’s proposal as “unrealistic.” 

"It's unrealistic to say that we're going to completely shut down our borders to everyone," Clinton said during an interview on NBC's "Today" show.

"We have been confronting the threat of terrorism for quite some time, and with the latest terrible manifestation of it, we've got to tighten our security," Clinton said. "I've talked about a visa system and a passenger name record system." 

Dow, the head of U.S. Travel, also pushed for stricter security measures, while balancing the needs of travelers. 

"The fact that travel and transit nodes were the object of this violence naturally has our full attention,” he said.

“Those who would do harm to the Western world are a deranged minority and should be treated as such — our travel security policies should work to identify and separate them from the pool of legitimate travelers so that law enforcement can focus their full resources on bad actors and prosecute them as vigorously as possible.”

The end of the release touts the Visa Waiver Program, which allows pre-screened travelers from allied countries to come to the United States without a visa for up to 90 days.