Published on Monday, December 4, 2017

US tourism leaders worried about drop in visitors

International tourism to the US fell nearly 4% in the first half of the year, and tourism leaders are worried.

In every region except Canada, tourism was down as just 33.8 million non-resident international travellers came to the US, or a 3.9% decline on the same period in 2016.

Two regions impacted heavily by Trump Administration rhetoric and policy - the Middle East and Mexico - saw the biggest declines.

There was a fall of nearly a third from the Middle East and almost 10% from Mexico.

"The latest government travel data is deeply concerning not just to our industry, but to anyone who cares about the economic well-being of the United States," said Roger Dow, chief executive of the US Travel Association.

"Travel is our country's No. 2 export and supports more than 15 million American jobs. These numbers are an undeniable wake-up call, and correcting this troubling trend needs to become a national priority."

NYC & Company, the tourism marketing agency for New York City, has already voiced concerns for the industry.

"The data released by the National Travel and Tourism Office underscores the concerns we have had this year about the international tourism landscape in the US," said NYC & Company CEO Fred Dixon, who called the industry 'vulnerable' to US policy.

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