Fewer international travelers visiting the US
Fewer international travelers have been visiting the United States over the last year, according to new government statistics.
From June 2016 through June 2017, overall international inbound travel decreased 3.9 percent, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. The biggest drop in travel has been from Mexico, with a 9.4 percent decline in visitors coming into the country.
The new data comes amid increasing concern from the U.S. travel industry that the Trump administration’s efforts to tighten border and aviation security could discourage legitimate visitors from coming to the U.S.
The White House has implemented a slew of new travel restrictions this year, including issuing a temporary ban on nationals from certain Muslim-majority countries and prohibiting laptops on the cabins of select U.S.-bound flights.
On the campaign trail, Trump also talked about enforcing a “Muslim ban” and promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The travel sector has been urging the administration to more clearly communicate who is welcome to the U.S., warning that Trump’s policies could have a chilling effect on the $250 billion industry if not they are accompanied by proper messaging. Travel is the country’s No. 2 export and supports more than 15 million American jobs, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
“The latest government travel data is deeply concerning not just to our industry, but to anyone who cares about the economic well-being of the United States … These numbers are an undeniable wake-up call, and correcting this troubling trend needs to become a national priority,” Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The travel industry will turn over every stone looking for all available policy options to better promote the U.S. as an international destination, and we stand ready to partner with the federal government to grow travel, and American jobs and exports along with it.”