Global Tourism Grows Everywhere But Trump’s America

Does making America great include scaring away foreign tourists? It looks as if hundreds of thousands of global travelers are not putting Trump’s America first on their travel itineraries:

Overall, the 15.8 million international tourists during the first quarter were down 4%, or 697,791 visitors. The decline represented nearly $2.7 billion in reduced spending, according to an estimate by Tourism Economics of Wayne, Pa., which analyzes travel data widely used in the industry [Bart Jansen, “Commerce: International Tourism to U.S. Dips by 700,000,” USA Today, 2017.09.06].

Data from the Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism Office show that visits from Canada were up 5.1% in the first quarter of 2017 (ah, those good neighbors the Canadians, coming south to bring us some sympathy and poutine), but visits from Mexico dropped 7.1% and visits from the rest of the world dropped 7.8%. The growth in Canadian visits declined each month, from 8.7% in January to 4.9% in February to 2.6% in March.

The decline in foreign tourists coming to America does not correspond with any larger global travel slump. Elsewhere, international tourism is enjoying a strong year:

International tourist numbers grew 6.4 percent in the first half of 2017, the strongest half-year figures in seven years, with Mediterranean destinations posting double-digit growth, the UN World Tourism Organisation said Thursday.

The number of international tourists surged to around 598 million between January and June, some 36 million more than during the same period last year, the Madrid-based United Nations body said in a statement.

…Southern and Mediterranean Europe saw a 12-percent rise in international visitors, North Africa posted a 16-percent rise and the Middle East recorded an increase of 8.9 percent.

Tourist arrivals overall in Europe, the world’s most-visited region, grew 7.7 percent.

Africa saw a 7.6-percent rise in visitor numbers, while Asia and the Pacific posted 5.7-percent growth.

International arrivals in the Americas were up 3.0 percent in the first half of the year.

Growth was solid in South America, up by 6.0 percent, while North America saw just 2.0 percent growth as a decrease in arrivals in the United States offset robust results for Canada and Mexico [“World Tourism Numbers Post Biggest First-Half Rise Since 2010: UN,” AFP via Yahoo News, 2017.09.07].

The rest of the world gains while America loses? That’s not my kind of American greatness. Let’s get our global tourism mojo back!

22 Responses to Global Tourism Grows Everywhere But Trump’s America

  1. Darrell Reifenrath

    Spent some time in Europe this summer. (Italy, Austria, Germany) It is embarrassing to admit being an American. Several times I heard the words “America cookoo” when anything relating to politics was mentioned.

  2. Bob Newland

    Who would want to come visit a people who would choose an orange-colored man to lead them?

  3. Bob Newland

    Or was that an elitist comment from a normally-colored person?

  4. Porter Lansing

    Tourism is down not to mention that South Dakota is under California boycott over LGBTQ adoption discrimination from the Republican legislature’s need to be on the wrong side of history, again and again. Way to make a bad thing worse, GOP.

  5. With North Korea having its nukes aimed at the U.S., who would want to come here with the possibility of getting nuked?

  6. Traveling abroad I’ve found it’s better to carry a backpack or wear a shirt with a maple leaf on it. People are just nicer to you when you’re associated with a maple leaf. I guess people worldwide must just like maple trees or something. I don’t know. Despite the innocuous sounding ingredient list, poutine is vile but not as vile as vegemite.

  7. FACT: 40% of the illegal aliens come to the US on tourist visas.

    FACT: In 2015 there were 4,400,000 illegals in the US who used tourist visas to enter the US.

    FACT: In 2015 there were 11,000,000 illegals in the US.

    FACT: In 2016 the average weekly wage of an illegal alien was $715 that is $37,180 per year.

    FACT: The average per capita income in South Dakota is $26,767 per year.

    SAD FACT: These “supposed” wonderful tourist are doing the job, making more money and living a better life than you losers because you can’t figure it out!

  8. happy camper

    So you’re ashamed to be an American move to Canada we won’t miss ya.

  9. Illegal immigrants are making more money than South Dakotans? Hmm… must be working harder in states that pay better.

    Not established as fact: that international visits to the US dropping while tourism to other countries increases has anything to do with abuse of tourism visas.

  10. The maple leaf has long been a practical travel accessory for Americans abroad hoping to keep a low profile. Wearing such a pin doesn’t mean you’re ashamed of being an American; it just means that you recognize that, in some countries, flying an American flag can invite guff from criminals or corrupt cops.

    In related news, Rick Steves offers some friendly advice on how to avoid coming across as the Ugly American.

  11. I say, as long as we keep all visitors, I could care less if they are purple and from Nodakia or yellow and from Iowa, keep the visitors out. Nobody cares if people from other countries go to Arizona or California, but golly let’s keep the non-South-Dakotan’s out of South Dakota.

  12. Canadians are hosers. Fly your flag or move to Canada.

  13. Why should any American who didn’t vote for Trump have to spend any of their vacation time explaining why the jerk who came in second in the election gets to be president? Anybody who flies the American flag on an international trip is going to have to do a lot of explaining either that they didn’t vote for Trump or why in the hell they did vote for him. So much for a Trump-free holiday.

  14. It would be nice to escape Trump on an overseas holiday. But such is the nature of democracy: we’re all in it together, regardless of whether we vote for the winner or the loser. When democracy errs, we all have to answer for it. We all get hard questions from our foreign neighbors, and we all suffer the consequences of Trump’s drag on global tourism dollars.

  15. Who says they are tourists? Just because they have tourist visas doesn’t mean they plan to go home.

    If you ridicule the idea of a border wall on the grounds that most illegal immigrants arrived on airplanes, You have admitted that many tourists are actually immigrants.

    Porter Lansing’s complaint that Californians on state expense accounts can’t come to South Dakota to goof off at the expense of California’s taxpayers is, well, tragic. I don’t know how many California state employees billed their beer tabs at the Sturgis rally to the State of California but I suppose it was a lot of them. Boo-hoo.

  16. Porter Lansing

    Annie … You used to have credibility before your posts became so exaggerated, manipulative and misdirecting.

  17. mike from iowa

    Mount Rushmore state welcomes SOME OF you.

    Wingnuts be freakin’ out now that white kristians are in the minority. Walls can’t even keep enterprising prisoners in prison. If you want increased tourism to get bucks for the state treasury youcan’t tell people they are not welcome. You also need immigrant help to serve the increase in tourism. Hell the bogus potus uses all kinds of immigrants at Drumpf Dump South in Florida and probably elsewhere.

  18. bearcreekbat

    Ol Sarg makes a valid point – namely, that many of our undocumented immigrants came here legally. Old Sarg could add that overstaying a VISA in the USA is not a state or federal crime,

    but that detail might get in the way of Ol Sarg’s desire to use “illegal alien” as a variation of the “N-word” to denigrate an entire class of people he has never met.

    It is also interesting how invested Ol Sarg and others are in old fashioned nepotism. It is pure nepotism to contend that members of their tribe (whether defined as family, friend, white person, Christian, American, South Dakotan, or whatever) should be given jobs merely because of tribal affiliation, while people they deem non-members of the tribe should be dismissed even if they are objectively more qualified and more capable than the less qualified tribal member.

  19. mike from iowa

    Having Russia elect Drumpf as potus ought to be the biggest deterrent to global tourism for America.

    Howz this fer tribalism? A Charlotte mayoral candidate wants people to know that she’s Republican, smart – and white.

    “VOTE FOR ME!” Kimberley Paige Barnette posted on Facebook. “REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.”

  20. Mr. Lansing

    HC … Canadians are just as much American as you are. I ❤ all the Americas. The South one and the Central one. The North one only has two countries but it’s pretty good, regardless. But, sorry Jethro … there’s no country called America.
    ~ Nationalism ( a feeling of superiority over other countries ) is a symptom of identity crisis and lack of physical attachment. Sound like you, Hap? Yes, it does sound a lot like your struggles . There’s help out there but probably better help in Minnesota. Reading this article would help, too. You don’t have to be angry. It’s a choice.
    ~ “From a social-psychological perspective, nationalist sentiment is thought to stem from two main points: attachment and identity.”

  21. I feel some speculative excuse-making from Anne. We have no breakdown from the Commerce Department on how much of decline in tourists is attributable to scaring off would-be immigrants, illegal or otherwise, and we likely cannot obtain such a figure. All we know for sure is that while international tourists are paying more visits to most other countries, fewer tourists are coming to the U.S. In the context of the global trend, excusing the drop in tourism to the U.S. as a victory against illegal immigration seems a tenuous proposition at best.

    We’re talking about 700,000 fewer visitors in three months. Extend that trend to the year, and that’s 2.8 million fewer visitors. Extend that figure to a Presidential term, and that’s 11.2 million fewer people entering the country over four years. That’s about equal to the estimated number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. Less than half of those undocumented immigrants come by overstaying visas. Thus, the drop in tourism seems far larger than the number of illegal immigrants who have come to the U.S. over the past couple decades we may estimate have entered the country by overstaying visas.

    In other words, it is far more likely that the government’s reported tourist entry drop is mostly what it appears to be: hundreds of thousands of tourists choosing to spend their tourist dollars someplace other than America.

  22. bearcreekbat

    David Masciotra identifies a major reason for the tribal “nepotism” expressed by those who fear the “other” will take the jobs of tribal members:

    If I were an insecure coward afraid to compete in a multicultural society, and convinced my future children would become deadbeats without the full force of white privilege to catapult them into success, I would advocate for the deportation of immigrant families similar to those of my students, and I would repeat mindless bromides like “America First” and “Build that Wall.”

    He also points out a drawback:

    One of the costs of racism, xenophobia, or any form of pathetic provincialism is that freezes the prejudicial person in a permanent state of mediocrity.