Travel Industry Reacts to Trump Victory

After Donald Trump’s historic presidential election win, reactions ranging from positive to cautiously optimistic have been coming in from around the travel industry.

Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association, released a statement congratulating President-elect Trump, commending his extensive experience in hospitality, and looking ahead at the possibility of collaboration and cooperation with the future president.

“I congratulate President-elect Trump on behalf of the U.S. travel and tourism community, and am confident that he will be a valuable ally in advancing some of our industry’s key priorities,” Dow said. “Mr. Trump demonstrated throughout his campaign that travel and infrastructure issues have his attention, and we stand ready to advise his administration on achieving his stated aims in these areas.

“We are encouraged that Mr. Trump’s extensive business and hospitality background—not to mention that travel accounts for 10 percent of all U.S. exports and creates jobs in every single congressional district—will make him a ready and receptive ear for our agenda.”

In a separate statement, Dow highlighted the importance of travel to the country’s economy.

“The election may be over, but our work has just begun. New and returning lawmakers arriving here need to know how crucial our industry is for America’s health, wealth and diplomatic relations as they begin their work for the coming years,” Dow said. “Our industry looks forward to working with the Trump administration on policies that will keep travelers moving and keep our country a welcoming destination—and in doing so, create jobs and help fulfill the very campaign promises they made en route to Washington.”

U.S. Travel Association has announced a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of the travel industry among incoming lawmakers. New ads touting the association’s pro-connectivity, pro-growth and pro-traveler policy priorities  will appear in various airport terminals from November through January.

Skift spoke to a number of travel industry leaders and found that many are encouraging a cautious “wait and see” attitude.

Marriott International told Skift, “The outcome of the elections and the potential to impact our business depends on the Administration and Congress working together to govern, and it is too early to tell how those relationships will develop and which policies will surface as priorities.

“We remain focused on advancing our policy priorities to support our business and associates: comprehensive immigration reform, infrastructure investment, equality in the workplace, growing travel, protecting our ability to do business in Cuba and adopting tax policies that strengthen the American economy.”

The day before the election, Reuters spoke with Enrique de la Madrid Cordero, Mexico’s secretary of tourism, who said that Mexico is prepared to work with the future president, with no regard to party affiliation. He also cautioned that the industry should wait to see which campaign promises would actually become policy.

Following the announcement of election results, Travel Pulse surveyed travel agents and discovered a wide variety of reactions. Some expect Trump to enact policies that favor hospitality, while others are concerned that a change in the economy could make Americans reluctant to travel.

Travel Pulse also collected comments from several travel industry voices around the world, from Cuba to Mexico. Insight Cuba CEO Tom Popper told Travel Pulse, “In my opinion, and while much is difficult to predict with any certainty, I don’t believe the new president-elect will strive to undo the gains with regard to travel and trade as a result of Obama’s effort to normalize ties with Cuba.”

In other news, the Federal Aviation Administration has made Trump Tower a no-fly zone as a security precaution for the president-elect. Similar flight restrictions over Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Indiana residence are also in effect. This is a common flight restriction for current and former presidents who live outside the White House.

The no-fly orders will expire Jan. 21, one day after the inauguration. The order for New York prohibits flights below 3,000 feet in midtown Manhattan, although military, Secret Service and emergency aircraft are exempt. Drones are also subject to these new restrictions.

advertisement