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Published on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

UK visitor numbers to US fall, fuelling fears 'brand America' is in trouble

Visitor numbers to the US were up 4% year on year in April, surprising those who thought tourists would be deterred by President Donald Trump's attempted travel bans.

However, numbers from the UK are down 6% over the last year and CEO of the US Travel Association Roger Dow has admitted that 'brand America is in trouble'.

Nevertheless, Dow said he was surprised by the overall rise in visitor numbers in April. Given that visitors to the US usually start planning their trips 57 days in advance, it had been thought that the Trump's first executive order banning travel from several Muslim countries, which was issued in January, would have had an impact on numbers by April.

Speaking at IPW 2017 in Washington, Dow added: "There have been many claims that the administration's actions on travel have tarnished America's brand abroad, but we're seeing hard economic evidence of the US travel sector's remarkable resilience."

However, he said the industry could not afford to be complacent, despite the fact that the executive order, and a subsequent travel ban, have been overturned.

"Even though we're encouraged by these strong figures, we'll continue to urge the administration to more publicly send the message that while the US is closed to terror, it remains open for business," he added.

"We should not take it for granted that this trend will sustain, and the 15.3 million American jobs that depend on travel are not worth putting at risk. A simple and clear welcome message will go a long way in that regard."

Trump's first travel ban was overturned by the US courts, which have also put a second ban on hold.

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  • Safe, Michael Anderson...?

    I don't think so. 7,399 people killed by guns in the USA so far in 2017 - of which 1,859 were children. And Trump is, of course, a gun supporter so things can only get worse.

    By Richard English, Monday, June 26, 2017

  • LOL Michael Anderson

    LOL Michael Anderson: yeah it's also the best and cheapest place for gourmet food and culture, and great for irony too, it really is. I know "Trump Slump" has a nice ring about it from the point of view of a catchy headline but surely, the increase in tourism to the US overall suggests it's actually little to do with Trump. Meanwhile the decrease in traffic specifically from the UK would appear to be down to UK specific conditions, no? Sterling kicking around like an inebriated homeless guy in its gutter of Brexit despair... perhaps? Even when you interview people about their reasoning, many aren't entirely aware or honest with themselves. They might talk themselves out of their trip with excuses about Trump etc.but I bet they'd talk themselves back into it pretty quick if we were still getting $1.55 per £.

    By ex Severn, Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  • Gun violence and bigotry

    Since the current president took office, there has been much publicity about the rampant gun violence and blatant bigotry especially against groups such as Muslims and people of colour as they travel to and around the US making it a much less desirable place to visit.

    By Tony Ozell, Wednesday, June 14, 2017

  • Visitor numbers to the US were up 4% year on year in April

    Trump has made USA safer & it's now also the best & the cheapest place to ski.

    By Michael Anderson, Thursday, June 8, 2017

  • Trump slump reasons

    Having heard how recent passengers have been treated by rude, arrogant and uncompromising border staff, no wonder trade is slacking off. We will not be advising the USA as an option for a while.

    By Peter Reeve, Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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