Trump Win Could Hinder Tourism Recovery

According to GlobalData, a second term for the Trump administration, combined with the ongoing impact of COVID-19, doesn’t provide the US tourism sector with reasons for a great deal of optimism.

The data and analytics company noted that with Trump’s surprise victory in 2016 was likely a contributing factor to a 2.1-percentage-point slowdown in the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of international tourism in the US.

GlobalData travel & tourism analyst, Ralph Hollister said that: “While causation cannot be proved, there is a correlation between President Trump’s first term and a slowdown in international visitation, which should increase apprehension in the US tourism sector in the current election regarding how swiftly recovery will be realized during and post-pandemic.”

Hollister continued: “In 2017, global international tourist arrivals were growing at a rapid rate and the value of the US dollar was in decline. These two factors should have meant near-record-breaking international tourism growth in 2017 and the following years – but this was not the case.”

And he pointed out that: “According to GlobalData, from 2016 to 2019, international arrivals to the US increased at a sluggish compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1%. By way of comparison, from 2013 to 2016, they grew at a much higher CAGR of 3.1%.”

GlobalData says that international arrivals to the US are now expected to see a staggering year-on-year decrease of 75% in 2020, largely due to the impact of COVID-19. Many US states – such as Florida – that are reliant on international tourism have already been severely impacted and are in need of the quickest possible path to recovery.

Hollister explained: “There are several reasons why a second term for President Trump could prolong tourism recovery in the US, ranging from negative views on immigration policies to bans on individuals entering the US.”

And he added: “A significant ongoing reason is the China-US trade war. In recent years, the rapidly increasing spending power of Chinese travellers has put them at the front of many nations’ tourism strategies – given the large numbers of high-yield tourists. President Trump’s aggressive approach to China has impacted arrivals from this valuable source market. According to GlobalData, between 2013 and 2016, Chinese arrivals to the US grew at a rapid CAGR of 18.1%. From 2016 to 2019, arrivals dropped at a CARC of 2.5%.”

Hollister concludes: “This trend of Chinese arrivals gradually dropping could continue beyond the pandemic should President Trump’s strained relationship with China show no sign of improving during a potential second term.”

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