2017 has been one of the worst years for American tourism in recent history. In the first seven months of 2017, the USA registered a tourism decline of 4% in terms of international arrivals, according to the NTTO. The main reasons for this drop are suggested to be the dislike towards the current travel policies in the USA and Donald Trump. However, flight availability and visa application are also issues that have affected the flow.
Moreover, from January to November 2017, international travelers spent $187.6 billion. This is a fall of 3.3 percent compared to the same period in 2016. Data show that there was an increase in expenditure until April, with the drop beginning from May.
Nationally speaking, there was a decline of 8.5% to 9.6 million of travel from Mexico. Every other overseas destination registered an overall drop of 6.4% to 19.9 million, while the inflow from Canada increased by 4.6%. This amounts to 11.6 million Canadians arriving in the States.
LA and New York City Unaffected
However, all is not as grim for U.S. tourism. Los Angeles registered 48.3 million visitors last year. This is an increase of 2.2% (1 million) compared to 2016. These numbers include 41.2 million domestic visitors, which is a record, and 7.1 million international visitors.
What LA may have lost from Mexico, they gained from China. The inflow from China increased by 6% compared to 2016. Meanwhile, as already mentioned, Canadian inflow saw an increase of 5.5%, resulting in more than 700 thousand visitors.
New York City, on the other hand, did not see an increase in international visitors – actually a decline of 100 thousand to 12.6 million. However, the city registered an overall growth of 2.1% thanks to domestic visitors. This amounts to a growth of 1.3 million to 61.8 million visitors compared 2016, with 49.2 million coming from other US destinations.
The U.S. Travel association plans to address the issue and is launching the Visit U.S. Coalition. This coalition shall represent various industries and will attempt to help Donald Trump and his team to solve the tourism decline.
Many suggest that all US states should follow the way of LA and New York City. The spokesman of NYC & Co. Chris Heywood spoke about the ways the city used to to tackle the problems connected to Donald Trump’s travel policies.
“In 2017, we spent more traveling internationally to reinforce the fact that New York City was open for business. We welcome the world and want to reinforce our pillars of diversity and inclusion,” he said to USA Today.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles launched its “Everyone is Welcome” campaign with a similar goal to the one of New York City. And evidently, this strategy was effective, as seen in the travel data.