CBS Local — While the Trump presidency has meant huge gains and broken records on Wall Street, a report from the National Travel and Tourism Office says the country’s tourism industry took a big hit in 2017.
Travel to the U.S. reportedly fell by four percent during the first half of 2017, resulting in an estimated $4.6 billion drop off in spending from tourists during that period.
“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,” Adam Sacks of Tourism Economics said to The New York Times.
The lack of foreign visitors last year is also being blamed for as many as 40,000 jobs in the industry being lost.
“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,” Roger Dow of the US Travel Association told the Boston Globe. “Travel is our country’s number two export and supports more than 15 million Americans.”
“We wanted to visit N.Y.C. this summer but decided against it simply because we felt we wouldn’t be welcome there,” a Muslim woman living in London claims, according to Metro.
America has reportedly slipped to the third-most-visited country worldwide, falling behind Spain who welcomed 82 million visitors last year. France remained the top country for tourism in 2017.