The Trump Slump is real, and it's costing the U.S. "bigly." Since President Trump took office, America has slipped from being the second-most popular tourist destination, behind France, to the third, forfeiting its standing to Spain, NBC News reports. That is reflected in a 3.3 percent drop in travel spending in the U.S. and a 4 percent drop in inbound travel, the National Travel and Tourism Office reports, or a loss of $4.6 billion and 40,000 jobs.
"It's not a reach to say the rhetoric and policies of this administration are affecting sentiment around the world, creating antipathy toward the U.S. and affecting travel behavior," the president of Tourism Economics, Adam Sacks, told The New York Times last fall.
America is the only country aside from Turkey — which has suffered a failed coup and a number of terrorist attacks — to report a decline in "long-haul travel" since 2015, CBS News reports. "Sadly, we're in the situation where travel is growing around the world, and America is in the company of Turkey in losing share, and they aren't typically our peer," said the executive president of public affairs at the U.S. Travel Association, Jonathan Grella. Countries that have seen a boost in the past two years include Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
"With each limiting security announcement, we need to offset it with a deliberate welcoming message so America can help reclaim its market share," added Grella to CBS. "Trump is a legendary brander and understands that America's brand matters."