You wouldn't know it judging by the drop in tourism here in America, but tourism in other parts of the world is apparently booming.
Foreign tourism to the United States dropped by 4 percent in 2017 but numbers from the United Nations suggest foreigners are still traveling, they're just not traveling here.
International arrivals to the United States were down 4 percent in the first three quarters of 2017, Trump’s first year in office, according to the most recent data available from the United States.
By comparison, international tourism arrivals worldwide in 2017 were up 7 percent, representing the strongest result in seven years, figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) show.
According to Reuters, the most common explanation offered at a travel industry conference in Germany this week was that Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban is the primary reason why tourism to the United States has dropped.
As it turns out, even if you're neither Muslim or attempting to travel from one of the countries name-dropped by Trump, no one wants to travel to a country where they may be treated like lepers. You know, unless you're white.
That all makes sense, but here's something I didn't know: a single foreign tourist can be expected to spend four times as much as a single domestic tourist (like someone traveling from the Midwest to the east or west coast) according to New York City's official tourism bureau. That would explain why a 4 percent drop in foreign tourism actually translates to $4.6 billion in lost economic activity and 40,000 jobs.
The 4 percent drop in foreign tourism represents only the first three quarters of 2017, meaning we don't yet have data covering a period after Trump referred to other countries as "shitholes" or his more recent decision to start a low-grade trade war with Europe and Asia.