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US International Tourism Market Share Is Falling Under Trump (buzzfeed.com) 429

An anonymous reader writes: The United States' slice of the international tourism pie is declining, according to a new report from Foursquare that looks at data from millions of phones worldwide. The US share of international tourism dropped 16% in March 2017 compared with the previous year. And it declined an average of 11% year over year in months spanning October 2016 to March 2017, according to the report. The drop coincides with the final month of the US election, the Trump transition, and the early months of the Trump administration, which notably imposed a travel ban on people from several majority-Muslim countries in January 2017 that was eventually halted in court but is currently under appeal. Declines in tourism market share from people originating in the Middle East were more pronounced than the rest of the world, down 25% this January, along with a smaller decrease from South America, Foursquare found. The data accounts for the percentage of international tourism coming to the US and not the absolute number of tourists, but Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck told BuzzFeed News that it's unlikely tourist visits to the US increased while share declined. "I don't think you'd see a 16% decline in international market share and absolute numbers being up. I don't think that's compatible," he said. "The volume of tourism doesn't change that fast."
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US International Tourism Market Share Is Falling Under Trump

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  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:02PM (#54477591)

    There have to be consequences when a country treats their visitors the way the US do.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:07PM (#54477615) Homepage
      if you actually look at the graph, it was falling prior to the election at almost the same rate, you know the time frame when we were 98% sure hillary was going to win. so lets not try and put this on trump. i know thats the popular thing to do but seriously. this is a non story
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by I)_MaLaClYpSe_(I ( 447961 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:14PM (#54477675)
        I have circumstantial evidence suggesting Trump is the reason: I would have loved to revisit the US this year but if I have to disclose my social media accounts and phone or social media login details, I will spare you from the several thousand bucks that I would have carried across the pond to you.
        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:40PM (#54477889)

          I have circumstantial evidence suggesting Trump is the reason: I would have loved to revisit the US this year but if I have to disclose my social media accounts and phone or social media login details, I will spare you from the several thousand bucks that I would have carried across the pond to you.

          As if this shit wasn't in full bloom with Obama at the helm. There just is less pretense now.

        • I have circumstantial evidence suggesting Trump is the reason...

          No, you don't. You have one, unverifiable anecdote. I'm not calling you a liar, but all we have is your unsupported claim that you've decided not to visit the US this year strictly because you don't like this country's policy on social media accounts.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by cayenne8 ( 626475 )
            Hmm....a significant drop in people visiting here in the US from the middle east.

            Yeah..we're really gonna miss those guys....

            [rolls eyes]

            But frankly, I have no real inclination to leave the US to visit internationally either.

            I mean, I used to like to go to mexico, Cabo was one of my favorite places, but with all the drug crime down there, I have no inclination to go anywhere in MX anymore.

            I might do the caribbean, and even Cuba if they finally open it up more freely.

            But the US is so large and so diver

        • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @01:39PM (#54478461) Homepage Journal

          if I have to disclose my social media accounts and phone or social media login details, I will spare you from the several thousand bucks

          Trump had, literally, nothing to do with it. Here is a June 28th 2016 article about the searches [nytimes.com], but our racist media gave Obama a pass until Trump got elected. And then, before the President-elect even entered office, there was an avalanche [theverge.com] of articles [mcclatchydc.com] about the "new" procedures [politico.com] — not directly blaming him, but planting the negative thoughts in the gullible heads (like yours and those of your adoring moderators here today). Only some [voanews.com] of the reports mentioned the truth:

          searches increased fivefold in the final fiscal year of the Obama presidency

          So, no, it had nothing to do with Trump. More likely, the reason is the growth of dollar since last December [xe.com] — vacationing in the US simply became more expensive for foreigners, while going abroad became cheaper for Americans.

        • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) * <slashdot AT jawtheshark DOT com> on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @02:16PM (#54478783) Homepage Journal
          Yeah, well... I'm in the same boat. I would love to return to the US, but I said "I'm sure they'll become reasonable again when George Bush leaves office". Wait... George Bush? Yes! George Bush! It never got better, only got worse! My wife reminds me from time to time: You said we would go when Bush is gone... I usually reply: Yes, I did, but I assumed it would bet better again.

          This really isn't a caused by Trump. It's just gone downhill all these years with no hope of it getting better ever again. I don't expect to visit the US ever again.

        • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

          by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @03:17PM (#54479225) Homepage
          I'd be the last person to defend Trump, but I have to add my voice.

          As a Canadian, I had my social media accounts checked only once. It was brutal, 4 TSA guys asked me to login into both of my email accounts and facebook to go over months of texts and emails. Many questions were asked and many personal pictures were viewed. They had snarky comments to add but they did not find anything illegal. They did fixate on why my sister in law visited her family in Pakistan many years ago and if she saw terrorists, saw guns, saw bombs there etc etc. Things that make you go WTF.

          This went on for more than 2 hours while I paid for the long distance data plan. I have not before or since been checked this way, but I've been super careful of adding bearded friends on facebook or any jokes I share. Anything I write might be held against me years later as I go to my vacation passing through the USA.

          This was during the Obama administration.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            So, they didn't even have some type of "secured" wifi that they forced you to connect to first? If I was designing some type of cross-border device checking, that would be part of my system. We connect your device to our wifi, have you log in; the whole time also sniffing your packets, performing MitM on all your SSL traffic, and have deep packet inspection going on looking for other, non-obvious communications coming from your devices. Especially I would look for VPN connections, and doing geo-locating
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:17PM (#54477699)

        if you actually look at the graph, it was falling prior to the election at almost the same rate, you know the time frame when we were 98% sure hillary was going to win. so lets not try and put this on trump. i know thats the popular thing to do but seriously. this is a non story

        Even when we thought Hillary would win we were still appalled by the fact that Trump was not only nominated, but that he was making it an actual race.

        For all his celebrity Trump is terrible marketing for the US.

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:19PM (#54477723)

        Discussing Trump with a Trump supporter is like discussing a Nigerian prince with someone who just started using email and is convinced they're about become a multimillionaire.

        It would have been a valid point that the graph doesn't go back far enough to rule out effects from seasonal variations - if you had made that point. But your claim that US tourism was falling at the same rate prior to the election is total BS. Yes, there was a significant drop from September to October. But the month before that it was level. And the month before that it was increasing.

        I know you want to believe in your Nigerian prince. But the data does strongly suggest that Trump's policy toward foreign visitors is hurting the US tourism industry.

        • "I know you want to believe in your Nigerian prince"

          And the Orange Prince also wants to put exploding laptops of businessmen in the cargo hold, apparently explosions there don't matter.

          And if they don't explode, the US customs will spy on foreign companies when they enter the US.

          I'm sorry, but there are other beautiful countries without madmen at the top.

        • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @01:08PM (#54478151) Homepage
          Discussing (insert politician here) with a (insert politician here) supporter is like discussing a Nigerian prince with someone who just started using email and is convinced they're about become a multimillionaire.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        [...] we were 98% sure hillary was going to win.

        At best, Hillary had a 95% chance of winning. It was never 98%.

        so lets not try and put this on trump.

        Let me guess... let's blame the high dollar for a $10B slump in tourism.

        https://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=10649845&cid=54476199 [slashdot.org]

        • i really dont have the answer. but based on the info in that graph, its hard to place the blame on trump (or only on trump at minimum)
          • i really dont have the answer. but based on the info in that graph, its hard to place the blame on trump (or only on trump at minimum)

            If it makes you feel better, Obama was in the same situation when he inherited the mess from George W.

          • by spun ( 1352 )

            Are you lying, or do you not know how to read graphs? The graph starts to drop in September of 2016. You know, when the election was held.

          • yeah, no blame should EVER go on Trump.
            It is not like he was running around back then saying that he was good friends with Le Pen, Putin, and would have nothing to do with NATO, and would destroy
            And he never attacked China, Mexico, Germany, Japan, etc.
        • Trips abroad are typically planned out months is advance, the question becomes what was going on in early to mid 2016 that would deter people from traveling to the US. We get it, you don't like Trump, but please try to use some logic in your arguments.
        • The "98%" figure probably refer to the notorious Huffington Post article that made that claim just prior to the election.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

          Princeton Election Consortium made a similar predition

          http://election.princeton.edu/... [princeton.edu]

      • if you actually look at the graph, it was falling prior to the election at almost the same rate, you know the time frame when we were 98% sure hillary was going to win. so lets not try and put this on trump. i know thats the popular thing to do but seriously. this is a non story

        It should be noted there's also seasonal variation, the drop from Sept-Oct and flat-line through November is consistent with Summer ending and school starting.

        The subsequent post-November drop doesn't seem to be what you'd expect based on seasonal variation, though we'd need to see a comparison to prior years to really be sure.

      • It's not like it started with Trump that the US treats everyone and anyone trying to spend a vacation in that country like a wanted criminal.

        I decided long ago that, well, if you don't want my money, other countries are glad to take it.

      • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

        by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @01:11PM (#54478195) Homepage

        the time frame when we were 98% sure hillary was going to win. so lets not try and put this on trump.

        That's not great logic. The article itself states that the trend started in the last month of the campaign, during which time the race was tightening. It's entirely possible that people were uneasy about visiting a country where Trump was a serious contender, and his violent and xenophobic followers were being frequently shown on the news.

        If you want to pick apart this analysis, there are better things to point to. Let's start by looking just at the graph, which seems to be your inclination. Going by the graph alone, it show enough historical data on that graph to draw any real conclusion. There's a downward trend, but that might be related to the time of year, or just be a random fluctuation. We would need to compare it to data from previous years to determine normal trends at a given time of year. We would need to look at how volatile the market is to determine whether the trend is outside the normal range of fluctuations.

        Then there's how the data was collected: "Foursquare’s data comes from approximately 13 million users who opted to share their locations with the company." One question would be, how accurate is that? Further, if the data is based on location data, then even if a drop in tourism began at roughly the same time as Trump's election, that's not enough to indicate a cause. It would be a coincidence of events without any causal link.

        On the other hand, it's hard to imagine that Trump's actions wouldn't have a dampening effect on voluntary travel to the US. He campaigned on the promise of getting rid of Mexicans and Muslims, assuming minorities are criminals, conducting trade wars, and putting immediate American economic interests above all else. He advocated torturing and killing innocent people if it might possibly make people feel that it would improve national security, even if it didn't actually improve it. His early actions included trying to revoke people's legal status and deport them to their country of origin (not necessarily the country they were traveling from, which makes this particularly dangerous).

        What's more, I would almost expect Trump supporters to welcome the drop in international tourism. It means that there are fewer foreigners, and probably fewer minorities, entering our country. Sure, it's bad for the economy and probably a sign of greater problems, but it's not as though Trump followers are able to think deeply about indirect consequences.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:10PM (#54477631)

      I wouldn't say there has to be consequences. However the political redirect of the ruling party, does make the United States seem to be an uninviting place to visit.
      I wouldn't want to visit a country, where I could get arrested or just harassed just because of my cultural differences. We should welcome visitors, because someone coming to our country to visit says that we are special enough for that person to be interested in visiting us, and they will be bringing their money to spend. It should be an opportunity to put our best foot forward.

      • Just as a point of principle, the United States does not have a "ruling" party, we have a governing party.
        • This is governing? News to me. It's not exactly ruling in the traditional sense, but it hardly rises to the level of governing.

        • Just as a point of fact, the United States has two ruling parties that jointly govern.
        • Just as a point of principle, the United States does not have a "ruling" party, we have a governing party.

          Just as a point of fact, ... you keep telling yourself that.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I wouldn't want to visit a country, where I could get arrested or just harassed just because of my cultural differences. We should welcome visitors, because someone coming to our country to visit says that we are special enough for that person to be interested in visiting us, and they will be bringing their money to spend. It should be an opportunity to put our best foot forward.

        Well then you shouldn't visit most of Asia, all of the middle east, and a lot of Africa. There are many countries where you can and will be arrested if you disrespect their culture/religion/version-of-history. Not to mention harassment because of looking different. If you visit a country you best behave on their terms.

        (not defending the present USA draconian immigration measures, just pointing out "we're" nowhere near the worst offender)

        • "we're" nowhere near the worst offender)

          As a reasonably patriotic US citizen, I find that attitude depressing. I want my country to be good, not just less bad than that of lots of developing countries.

      • I wouldn't want to visit a country, where I could get arrested or just harassed just because of my cultural differences

        You are a Republican?

    • If I hadn't lived in this country since I was born, I wouldn't want to come here right now, either.
    • Strong dollar, not the current ruling party. Nice try at spin though.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrvan ( 973822 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @01:08PM (#54478143)

      Yeah. It's not just Trump, and it's been going on for longer. I've been visiting the US regularly for work and tourism for at least the past 15 years, have lived there for half a year and had an American girlfriend for a while. Although every state has the right to subject foreign visitors to whatever restrictions and procedure they please, if they don't make me feel welcome it won't help convincing me to come again and spend money. My gripes:

      - The ESTA procedure, where we have to fill out some stupid web form in advance. It's not so much bother, but I'm a frequent traveller to many countries and it is easy to forget. Just give me the option to fill it in at the airport and let me run the (negligible) risk of not being admitted once I get there, or at least send me reminder emails between booking my flight and getting approval.

      - With the ESTA procedure, the US is the only developed/"western" country I have to pay to get in. I expect that kind of nonsense from Turkey or Vietnam, not the US...

      - Since living in Israel (a staunch US ally) for a semester and visiting tourist sites in nearby Jordan (with whom the US has friendly relations) I am frequently picked out of the line for extra questioning, often adding 30-60 minutes to my time to get through immigration. I can understand it the first time, but after having determined that I'm bona fide, just put a frigging note in my case file and leave me alone next time. Also, for me it is mosly annoying and sometimes amusing, but if I were non-white or had an arabic name I'm sure it would go from bad to worse pretty quickly.

      There must be a much smarter way to reduce risk of incoming visitors without annoying legimitate travelers, but it seems that the people in charge just don't care / don't see the real economic effects of current policy.

    • I agree. People who hate us enough to resent it when we take safeguards, be it against foreign gangs like M13 via crackdown on illegal immigration, or against foreign terrorists via the attempted travel ban, can go fuck themselves. Or go to an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, or a Catholic Mass in Mindanao, or a scenic tour of Raqqa or Sirte, or hitchhiking across Yemen!!!

      Honestly, I don't give a fuck!

    • I think Trump voters would agree.

      So, everybody is happy.

    • by Serif ( 87265 )

      A long time ago, 20 years or so, I used to go on vacation to the US; visit the national parks, see the sights in the cities, the usual tourist things. It is a beautiful country, and I found the vast majority of people to be friendly and welcoming. I stopped going there by choice when immigration started treating myself and my family as if we were criminals. Now I only travel there on business, if I really have to and not if I can possibly avoid it. There are many countries out there which are equally beauti

  • against all other currencies
    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Not true. For most currencies (with some exceptions), the dollar value has been mostly flat since early 2016, and the majority of the dollar rate increase happened before then.

      For some currencies, like Indian rupees and Mexican pesos, the value has gone down after Trump took office, which should have boosted tourism.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      Quickly looking it seems to be slightly higher in early 2016 vs 2017. I know I skipped a trip to Defcon last year in a large part due to the USD.
  • as he does, it's going to have knock-on effects that go beyond the political sphere.

    And those companies and people directly affected by this turmoil better speak up about it. The more voices in the political arena, the better our democracy.

  • Trump and high USD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:10PM (#54477629)

    As a Canadian who vacations at least 2 to 3 times a year in the US, I can confirm that we will be curtailing our travels to not only some of the new Trumpisms we simply don't want to deal with (e.g. threat of being heavily annoyed at the border) but the extremely unattractive US Dollar exchange.

    Seriously though, Florida and border states (we live next to NY and VT) will feel it the most. We have seen it in the past, and some places will get desperate enough to sell stuff at par.

    On a different note, Americans, please come to Canada and spend your money here, we don't really hate you, we love your tourist dollars. Buy stuff.
    thanks

    • but the extremely unattractive US Dollar exchange.

      I think you just hit on another reason for tourism to be down in the US - a strong dollar. Looks like the Canadian Dollar has been falling vs. the US Dollar for about 4 years now.

  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:16PM (#54477693) Homepage

    If another country started to demand people's social media passwords, full access to phones, etc. as a possible condition to enter, I certainly wouldn't want to go there. Who wants to be treated like a criminal when they're on vacation trying to relax and have a good time?

    People take their privacy seriously. The word has gotten around that the US is poking more and more into people's data when they visit. There's plenty of other beautiful places to visit in the world, so obviously tourism to the US will go down.

    Treat visitors as guests and not suspiciously, damnit.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @01:02PM (#54478085) Homepage Journal

      The last few years, it has become more arduous to try to visit USA, and it's gotten progressively worse under both GWB and Obama, and there's little hope it will get better under Trump.

      For the 38 countries on the visa waiver program, you now have to get a new passport with a chip, then apply electronically for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), pay for it through a credit card, and answer mandatory questions that you previously didn't have to answer, like your employer, name of your parents, city of birth, and the name of a U.S. contact (which you may not even have if you're a pure tourist).
      And if you've been a tourist to some countries that the US doesn't like, you get denied. Even if you have absolutely no affiliation to those countries and only like to travel the world.
      And that's before you get to the airport and is subjected to the rather unfriendly border checks.

      I tell my European friends to think twice before visiting. And no, they can't use me as their U.S. contact, because I don't want to be added to the database for 15 years and get goonies at my door if someone with a similar name as them ever does something bad.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe our tourism boards can start targeting the fetish scene.

  • . . . . the blue-gloved idiots at the Theater Security A-holes. . .

  • Avoiding USA (Score:5, Informative)

    by LQ ( 188043 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @12:38PM (#54477865)
    I was speaking to someone from a tour company that organises special interest escorted tours all around the world. He said they have stopped running tours to the US because they've had so many bad experiences with border protection. If one person out of a group gets held for a couple of hours, they're not only traumatised but the whole tour gets off on a wrong foot.
    • Tell me about it. I've never felt less welcome than standing under the sign at customs in O'Hare that said "Welcome to the United States of America" FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF.

      The USA is great again. They have managed to outdo the British at something that the British are renowned for and very good at: making people queue.

  • Another factor is the exchange rate. The dollar was strengthening in the last half of 2016 and thus coming to the US was becoming more expensive.
  • A very crusty source of 'news'.
  • by foxalopex ( 522681 ) on Wednesday May 24, 2017 @03:37PM (#54479389)

    I think the main problem is if you look middle-eastern and the border agents are having a particularly bad day then you might get denied entry for no apparent reason at all. This has happened to several Canadians and apparently without even an explanation. This has caused entire conferences and school trips to be cancelled and or moved to Canada because on a class field trip, no teacher wants to have to deal with a situation where a student is left behind. Heck there was an Iranian Student who was invited to speak to a US trade show on refrigeration because of something new he had invented who got denied entry. Can you imagine how disappointing it would be to lose your lead speaker at a Conference because of such issues. This plus poor currency exchange, apparently gun violence issues and possibility issues at the border are scaring people away.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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