The tourism industry was afraid last year that Donald Trump, if elected, would result in what they dubbed a “Trump slump” related to travel.
They were wrong and their fears were more than just “premature” as the U.S. tourism industry is experiencing an uptick as international arrivals as well as travel-related spending are up in 2017 compared to the same period of time in 2016, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, claims that there could even be a “Trump bump” wherein the tourism industry will benefit from the Presidency of Donald Trump.
Dow was among the president’s detractors just a few months ago, but he noted that “impending doom hasn’t manifested itself” and much like the #FakeNews about damn near everything else related to this presidency, Dow stated that:
“Right now we cannot identify a loss. It’s contrary to everything we’ve heard, but travel is in slightly better shape than it was a year ago. Everyone wants me to tell the story of the sky is falling, but for the travel industry, the sky is not falling.”
Latest numbers from the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index showed 6.6 percent growth in international travel to the U.S. in April and 5 percent growth in May compared with the same months last year. The Travel Trends Index uses hotel, airline and U.S. government data.
Individual sectors have good news, too. Hotel occupancy for the first five months of 2017 was “higher than it has ever been before,” said Jan Freitag, senior vice president with STR, which tracks hotel industry data. American Express Meetings & Events has “not seen a slowdown in either domestic U.S. meetings or international meetings from the U.S. in the past six months,” according to senior vice president Issa Jouaneh. Even New York’s National September 11 Memorial and Museum has more international visitors: 554,381 at the museum Jan. 1-July 11, up from 517,539 the same period last year.
Florida’s Orlando International Airport, a gateway for theme park visitors, reported growth for domestic and international passengers year to date, though Visit Orlando CEO George Aguel said it was “still premature to determine a specific impact” from Trump administration policies.