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Travel trade turning back on US under Trump, research finds

40 per cent of travel trade executives say the US is not a country to do business with under the current president
08/11/2017

Pictured: US president Donald Trump

More than a quarter of UK holidaymakers are less likely to go to the US while Donald Trump is in the White House, while 40 per cent of the travel trade say the US is not a country to do business with under the current president, according to research released at World Travel Market London.

When asked: “Has Donald Trump’s presidential election made you more or less likely to visit the USA in the future?” 27 per cent of holidaymakers said they were less likely to do so, the World Travel Market 2017 Industry Report reveals.

And, of the key industry travel executives who took part in research for the report, 40 per cent do not think the US is good place to do business with for as long as Trump is president.

When presented with the statement: “With Donald Trump as president, America is a country to do business with,” 19 per cent said they strongly disagreed and 21 per cent disagreed slightly. Only 15 per cent agreed with the statement, with 44 per cent neither agreeing or disagreeing.

The World Travel Market London 2017 Industry Report also reveals 16 per cent of travel industry executives said the Trump election has had the biggest impact on their organisation in the past year, with 16 per cent adapting their marketing strategy as a result of the US presidential election.

Trump is not unpopular with everyone, however, with 6 per cent of holidaymakers saying they would be more likely to visit the US now he is in power. Two-thirds (67 per cent) say Trump’s presidency makes no difference to their decision.

The findings follow a pattern of a decline in interest among the public over visiting the US since the election. Travel searches for flights to the US dropped by 13 per cent immediately after the election result a year ago, according to comparison site Cheapflights.co.uk.

Six months later, in April 2017, the US Travel Association revealed UK visitor numbers were down 6 per cent compared to the previous year, leading CEO Roger Dow to conclude: “Brand America is in trouble”.

WTM London’s Paul Nelson, said: “Many of his policies, tweets and executive orders have proved controversial and have impacted on travel and tourism and there is now clear evidence that some people are being put off visiting the US and some of travel’s top executives are concerned about the Trump effect on their businesses.

“The US is one of the world’s key destinations and has long been popular among Brits. It is important that America gets the message out that not only is it still open for visitors but that it continues to be a warm, welcoming and great-value destination.”


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