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Travel CEOs Outline Concerns for Trump

They are concerned about travel and tourism given current political climate

U.S. Travel Association officials and CEOs from 13 USTA member companies met with President Donald Trump and senior administration officials at the White House Sept. 4 to discuss the economic impact of travel and tourism and the importance of inbound travel to trade deficit reduction. The conversation focused on ways the administration and the travel industry can work together to boost the declining U.S. share of international travel.

Among the discussion items at the meeting was reauthorizing Brand USA (the nation’s destination marketing organization); improving transportation infrastructure; and promoting a welcoming message to international travelers.

“Our discussion with the president was simple: a strong flow of international business and leisure travelers into the U.S. reduces the trade deficit and creates an outsize number of American jobs,” said USTA President and CEO Roger Dow. “There is a global international travel boom and there is a huge opportunity to greatly expand upon the already strong economy.”

After the meeting, Dow said that Trump was “receptive to the idea that travel growth can be achieved without compromising security.”

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) is a member of the Visit U.S. Coalition, which submitted comments in May on the State Department’s plans to heighten its scrutiny of U.S. visa applicants’ social media histories, a move which would affect more than 14 million people a year. The coalition is concerned that the “enhanced vetting” questions proposed by the administration do not strike a proper balance and would negatively impact inbound travel and harm America’s economic interests.

According to numbers cited by the Visit U.S. Coalition, while travel to the United States has continued to grow, the U.S. has lost market share in terms of international travel – which translates into lost opportunities on visitor spending and job creation. The United States has lost $32.2 billion in spending by international travelers due to the decline in the U.S. share of the international travel market from 2015 to 2017, including 7.4 million fewer international visitors to the U.S. as a result of that decline in market share. That translates into 100,000 American jobs not created, according to the coalition.

This article was provided to OSAE by the Power of A and ASAE's Inroads.

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