❝ TRUMP Tower, in midtown Manhattan, has become a modern-day Mount Vernon. Tourists have long visited George Washington’s homestead. Now they venture through Trump Tower’s brass doors to ogle the decor—“it’s so gold,” said a German teenager standing near the lobby’s waterfall on a recent afternoon—or buy souvenirs. The Choi family, visiting from South Korea, wandered the marble expanse with their new “Make America Great” hats (three for $50).
The question for America’s hoteliers and airlines is whether such visitors are just anomalies. A strong dollar is one reason for foreigners to avoid visiting America. Donald Trump may prove another, suggests a growing collection of data. Yet measuring the precise impact of Mr Trump’s presidency on travel is difficult. In addition to the currency effect, many trips currently being taken to America were booked before his election. Marriott, a big hotel company, reported an overall increase, compared with a year earlier, in foreign bookings in America in February.
❝ But Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s boss, has voiced concern about a potential slump in tourism. In February, ForwardKeys, a travel-data firm, reported that in the week after Mr Trump first tried to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, international bookings dropped by 6.5% against the same period in 2016. Hopper, a travel app, found that average daily searches for flights to America have declined in 99 countries since Mr Trump tried to issue his travel ban, compared with the last weeks of Barack Obama’s term. Russia is one of the few places where demand has risen…Tourism Economics, a forecaster, expects 2m fewer foreign visits to America this year, a 1% drop from 2016. Without Mr Trump it had expected a 3% jump…
❝ America’s main tourism lobby group is now urging Mr Trump, who presumably has some sympathy with other hoteliers, to emphasise that the country continues to welcome foreign visitors despite all the new security measures. The tourism agency for New York city, NYC & Company, is trying to counteract negative rhetoric from Washington, DC with advertisements in Britain, Germany, Mexico and Spain.
A bit more detail in the article. I wouldn’t expect any of this to be unexpected. George W gave us a similar present. And he was less boorish, less of an Ugly American.