American president Donald Trump risks taking the US tourism sector down a path of economic stagnation if he pushes forward with the reinstatement of his controversial travel ban, warns David Scowsill, president and CEO of World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
“Strict visa policies and inward-looking sentiment led to a US$600 billion loss in tourism revenues in the decade post 9/11, as previously reported by the US Travel Association, with a nine per cent drop in international arrivals in the period of 2001-2009,” Scowsill said during a speech in Las Vegas on February 14.
Thousands gathered in Battery Park, NYC to protest ban
Decisions made by the Trump administration could have a huge impact on the country’s travel and tourism sector, which generates over eight per cent of the country’s GDP and supports nearly 10 per cent of total employment in the US, he warned.
“For the president who has promised to create jobs and to make America great again, travel and tourism seems the most obvious answer. After all, the livelihood of millions of Americans depends on people being able to use planes, trains and automobiles to spend their tourist dollars.”
Scowsill urged the Trump administration to keep tourism out of politics as blanket bans on citizens from specific countries will not make the American people safer; use the technology available to share information to ensure that only the right people arrive at borders; consult with the industry in advance of change as this will make the implementation of policies more orderly, fairer and less damaging.
Airlines, hotels and travel agencies are all reporting drops in international bookings
to the US, following the executive order banning visitors from seven countries to enter the country.