The United States' tourism and hospitality industries are freaking out over the effect that Donald Trump's presidency is expected to have on foreign tourism, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.
America is set to see a decline of almost 2 million international travelers this year, the biggest drop off since the height of the global financial crisis, said a study by an industry group cited by the Journal. The biggest drop offs are set to occur in the U.S.'s two major international travel hubs, New York City, and Los Angeles.
According to the Journal,
Tourism authorities in cities such as New York and Los Angeles, along with smaller and midsize hotel chains, have started crafting messages meant to appeal to international travelers who may be on the fence about patronizing the U.S. Groups such as the U.S. Travel Association, which represents airlines, hotels and other recreational businesses, argued this week that the administration needs to do a better job of communicating to international travelers who "may have been put off by the initial travel ban."
A White House spokesperson told the Journal that the Trump administration wasn't surprised that New York and Los Angeles are "generally not supportive of the president's agenda" and that they were "trying to make something out of nothing on this."
It's a curious response given that Trump's own company — which he has not divested himself from as president — owns 11 major hotels across the country, including in New York City.
Aside from real estate, tourism and hospitality have been the cornerstones of Trump's business empire for decades.
One of Trump's most famous forays into tourism was his attempt to build a casino empire in Atlantic City, New Jersey, that ultimately resulted in a series of bankruptcies and business closures. Trump's Atlantic City casino venture was described by the New York Times as a "protracted failure," and was likely his biggest commercial blunder in the tourism industry — that is, until now.