With the first travel-industry tycoon now living in The White House, things are set to change with Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. While tourism has not been spoken about specifically, there is a lot of speculation regarding a number of different aspects. With the possibility of reversing recent peace with Cuba, Muslims being barred and the wall between America and Mexico, there is plenty of interesting things to consider. Trump is also looking to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and this is including the airports, indicating that there will in fact be an impact on tourism.
Travel To The United States
More money is spent in the United States by tourists than anywhere else in the world, and while the United States is certain to remain attractive to travellers, new procedures could impact the way people travel. The Muslim Travel Ban is the first indication of the border process becoming a lot harder and certain groups being targeted, which will ultimately have a negative effect on American tourism. It is likely that the US will be an aspirational travel destination, and that security measures will be dramatically increased.
The dollar collapsed as soon as Trump was announced as President and while it is beginning to climb again, this weak dollar could lead to an increase in tourism for those looking to shop and do lots of activities there. The strong dollar over the last few years was beginning to have an impact on how far a tourists’ money could stretch. With the British pound also coming up quite weak, the impact of the economy on tourism is likely to be great.
While there are many countries that have to get visas in order to enter the United States through a long-winded interview process, there is also the ESTA visa waiver program. Travellers from certain countries can access the United States by purchasing an ESTA online, helping to make the process even easier. While Trump has not said anything about the visa waiver program per say, his ‘complete and total shut down’ of the borders could ultimately have an impact on whether tourists can still get the visa waiver programme. A major risk of removing the visa waiver programme would be lower tourism levels, as around 60% of visitors to the US are from Visa Waiver countries. However, even those looking to go to the US who are not from Visa Waiver countries, Trump has suggested implementing ideological tests before allowing people to enter the US. This could cause some serious issues.
Nevertheless, Trump has repeatedly suggested that there is a special, special relationship between the US and the UK, and removing the Visa Waiver Programme could have a huge impact on the two countries maintaining this.
While Trump is looking to put on tighter controls on the borders, his background in the travel industry could actually lead to Trump being one of the most travel friendly presidents. He was strongly involved in the marketing for Trump Shuttle, and could use his experience to make the US an appealing destination. However, ultimately, Trump is very likely to be at either end of the spectrum, so it’ll be a waiting game for many tourists to see how difficult it will be to travel to the States.