Press "Enter" to skip to content

Trump Hurting South Dakota Tourism

John Tsitrian shows South Dakota’s business interest into plugging into a new industry campaign against Trump’s reckless trade war. As Tsitrian notes, in addition to playing bumper cars with our bumper crops, Trump’s reckless feck is cutting into another big South Dakota industry—tourism:

Foreign tourists matter.  Calling it the “Trump Slump,”  Forbes magazine last month noted that the U.S. share of international travel has dropped “sharply” during Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House, falling by  6%, costing the U.S. 7.4 million visitors and $32 billion in 2017. Forbes says there’s likely to be more this year.  So far in 2018, visitations to Mt. Rushmore have fallen by about 6%.  That would be 108,000 visitors.  Nationally, National Park visitations have dropped by 8.4 million, or nearly 4% [John Tsitrian, “Move Over Farm Groups. South Dakota’s Business Community Also Has Good Reason to Fight the Trump Slump,” The Constant Commoner, 2018.09.12].

Ever the intelligent, well-sourced commentator, Tsitrian anticipates the strong-dollar argument and says, no, really, it’s Trump:

I think the dropoff in foreign visitation accounts for much of this.  A strong U.S. Dollar might have a bit to do with it, but Forbes research on the fluctuating value of the Dollar and tourism patterns don’t give the theory much credence.  The influential business advocacy group Business Forward, which featured the situation last summer in a piece about the “Trump Slump,” makes it hard to draw any other conclusion [Tsitrian, 2018.09.12].

Trump knows Tsitrian is right and is trying to hide the fact that his jerk-weedery is hurting tourism:

Of 12 major international tourist destinations, 10 saw more visitors last year (up 13.5%, on average). Only the U.S. and Turkey saw fewer. Competitors, including Canada and Australia (both up more than 20 percent), are benefitting at our expense.

Donald Ostrich

Skeptical? Ask the travel CEOs funding a global ad campaign to win foreign tourists back. Or ask Trump’s Commerce Department, which commissioned one of the consumer surveys that demonstrates how Trump’s hurt us with foreign tourists.

Last year, the Trump Administration defunded those surveys. Last month, it suspended publication of the tourist travel data while it investigates for anomalies in the data. It’s hard to see how creating a $236 billion gap in our economic reports will help our hotels, airports, and airlines prepare for next quarter [Jim Doyle, “American CEOs Say Foreign Tourism Is Experiencing the ‘Trump Slump‘,” Business Forward, 2018.06.04].

We don’t have to travel to Australia to see an ungainly bird with a fuzzy head stick its head in the sand. Just ask Trump to explain his economic policies.


  1. Porter Lansing 2018-09-14 13:20

    Cory’s last line, “Ask Trump to explain …” Why bother? Trump’s instinct is to deny accepted reality when he perceives it as criticism and to counter with conspiracy theories.

  2. mike from iowa 2018-09-14 14:08

    What hasn’t drumpf hurt, besides Obama’s economic recovery?

  3. Debbo 2018-09-14 22:36

    “falling by 6%, costing the U.S. 7.4 million visitors and $32 billion in 2017.”

    That’s a lotta moola. Mike, I think he’s doing plenty of damage to the economy too. But now he owns it. The daily Axios financial newsletter, which I’ve already deleted today, continues to warn people that signs indicate an impending collapse, similar to 2008.

    Of course, 2008 is ongoing for the majority of Americans, that being those of us below middle class. For us it will just get worse.

  4. Kathleen Brooks 2018-09-15 07:41

    I get so sick of the Trump haters! Every day that’s all we hear. The left is trying to get rid of this president in every possible way. So very sad !

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-15 07:49

    So, Kathleen, if an elected official says or does things that hurt South Dakota’s economy, are we supposed to remain silent and not critique those words or actions, just because we might sound like “haters”? Are we allowed to point out policy problems?

  6. mike from iowa 2018-09-15 08:08

    Ms Brooks, I remember you from a few years past saying that very exact thing in defense of Obama on this site.

    Might I congratulate you on your consistency?

  7. John Tsitrian 2018-09-15 08:20

    The piece references a national organization called Americans For Free Trade and notes that its membership roster includes The American Petroleum Institute, The Telecommunications Industry Association, The National Retail Federation, and many other mainstream trade and farming groups that are united in their efforts to stop the tariff war, so much so that they’ve begun a multimillion dollar campaign against it. These are not “Trump haters,” per se. You can reach that conclusion by scanning the roster to get a sense of how broad the opposition to taiffs is among the leading business associations in this county.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.