US President Donald Trump’s imposition of tariffs on China and the restriction of travel from centrain countries are helping to fuel up the sharp decline of international tourism and business visits to the U.S.
Roger Dow, president of the U.S. Travel Association, said the policies and rhetoric are steepening a drop in the $2.1 trillion industry that began in 2015 when a stronger dollar made international visits more expensive, economic growth in several countries was slumping and the rise of discount airlines in Europe made travel to other destinations more affordable.
The share of US in world travel has fallen to 11.9 percent from 13.6 percent in 2015, which is about 7.4 million visitors, $32 billion and 100,000 jobs.
With China set to become the largest market for travel in the U.S. in the coming years, the travel and tourism industry is anxiously watching the outcome of Trump’s push to enact tariffs on a range of Chinese goods.
Roger Dow also estimated that the number of Chinese visitors to the U.S. surged to 3.5 million last year from fewer than 300,000 a decade ago. And the number of visits is poised to double in the coming years.
According to Roger Dow, the travel industry is one of the few American industries with a positive trade balance – 25 percent of U.S. export growth has come from the industry in the past four to five years, he said.