With the United States Presidential Election one day away, travel analysts are wondering what impact a second term for the Trump administration might have on international tourism in the U.S.
According to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, U.S. President Trump’s victory in 2016 was "likely" a contributing factor to a 2.1-percentage-point slowdown in the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of international tourism in the U.S., trends suggest.
"A second term for the Trump administration – combined with the ongoing impact of COVID-19 – does not provide the U.S. tourism sector with a great deal of optimism," the company said in a release.
“While causation cannot be proved, there is a correlation between President Trump’s first term and a slowdown in international visitation, which should increase apprehension in the US tourism sector in the current election regarding how swiftly recovery will be realized during and post-pandemic," said Ralph Hollister, a travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData.
“In 2017, global international tourist arrivals were growing at a rapid rate and the value of the US dollar was in decline. These two factors should have meant near-record-breaking international tourism growth in 2017 and the following years – but this was not the case. According to GlobalData, from 2016 to 2019, international arrivals to the US increased at a sluggish compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1%. By way of comparison, from 2013 to 2016, they grew at a much higher CAGR of 3.1%.”
A staggering decrease
International arrivals to the U.S. are expected to see a staggering year-on-year decrease of 75% in 2020, according to GlobalData, largely due to the impact of COVID-19.
Many states, such as Florida, that are reliant on international tourism have already been severely impacted and are "in need of the quickest possible path to recovery," the company said.
“There are several reasons why a second term for President Trump could prolong tourism recovery in the US, ranging from negative views on immigration policies to bans on individuals entering the U.S.," said Hollister. “A significant ongoing reason is the China-U.S. trade war. In recent years, the rapidly increasing spending power of Chinese travellers has put them at the front of many nations’ tourism strategies – given the large numbers of high-yield tourists. President Trump’s aggressive approach to China has impacted arrivals from this valuable source market. According to GlobalData, between 2013 and 2016, Chinese arrivals to the US grew at a rapid CAGR of 18.1%. From 2016 to 2019, arrivals dropped at a CAGR of 2.5%.
“This trend of Chinese arrivals gradually dropping could continue beyond the pandemic should President Trump’s strained relationship with China show no sign of improving during a potential second term.”
The U.S. Presidential Election is on Tues., Nov. 3, 2020.
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