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Not the (Tourism) President We Had Hoped

HandoverEyesBLOGRegardless of one's political affiliation, the notion that a President who makes a shit ton of money in the Tourism sector might be a good thing has pretty much been proven to be beyond wishful thinking.

After an initial surge in international visitation (likely by people who had booked prior to his inauguration), the number of foreign tourists today are way off. Like 700,000 off, representing a trade loss for America of $2.7 billion.

After fairly static visitation to Guam in the first few weeks of the President's spitting match with North Korea, the Guam Visitor's Bureau now reports almost 7,500 cancellations of trips, representing almost $10 million in lost revenue for the island. And, this after the President boldly assured Guam's Governor that there was nothing to worry about; that Guam's Tourism Industry would grow by a factor of 10 because of all the publicity it was receiving.

And, at a time when a lack of hospitality workers plagues virtually every destination with which we work, the White House is reportedly considering the abolishment of the J-1 Visa program. Ostensibly, such a move is to protect American workers from international students taking their jobs. But, in most cases, the jobs being filled are ones that Americans are refusing to take. This on top of President's support for the RAISE Act which would limit legal immigration to only those that qualify for high-income jobs, which will serve to deny entry to people who actually want to work in the hospitality industry. The industry where he makes most of his money. 

It makes one long for a time when our Presidents couldn't spell "tourism." 

Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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