TRAV­EL­LING IN TROU­BLED TIMES

ZOOMER Magazine - - SNOWBIRDS 2017 -

THEY CALL IT THE TRUMP SLUMP, a phrase used to de­scribe the de­cline in tourism that the United States has seen since the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump and his brand of bear-bait­ing, im­mi­grant­bash­ing, in-your-face, make-Amer­ica-con­fus­ing pol­i­tics. So it got us won­der­ing if Cana­dian snow­birds who typ­i­cally win­ter in the U.S. Sun­belt are think­ing twice. To find out, we turned to our Ev­ery­thing Zoomer Face­book page and asked: Are you re­con­sid­er­ing trav­el­ling to the Sun­belt while Don­ald J. Trump is in of­fice?

You were re­fresh­ingly un­in­hib­ited in ex­press­ing your opin­ions. If they are any re­flec­tion of Cana­dian boomers in gen­eral, it’s likely that if they’d been able to cast the de­cid­ing votes in the last U.S. elec­tion The Don­ald would be back in Trump Tower lick­ing his wounds. Fully 72 per cent of those who posted com­ments on Ev­ery­thing Zoomer said they would not be trav­el­ling to Amer­ica as long as he oc­cu­pies the White House. Talk about a land­slide!

“My hard-earned dol­lars are stay­ing right here un­til that man and those other Repub­li­cans stop spew­ing ha­tred and kow­tow­ing to the rich,” says Oakville, Ont.’s Janet Ger­ard-Down­ing. Pen­tic­ton, B.C.’s Eve­lyn An­nan won’t be go­ing as long as The Don­ald is PO­TUS: “Too many un­knowns and so much vi­o­lence, and he is only cre­at­ing more.” On the flip­side, Jim Bri­ard of Kaslo, B.C., asks: “There are a lot of coun­tries gov­erned by worse peo­ple than him that are vis­ited by peo­ple like us, so what’s the big deal?” And Gail Martens of Brant­ford, Ont., says, “I find it rather amus­ing that so many are tak­ing the Chicken Lit­tle ap­proach.”

To be fair, DT is only part of it; Zika fears and the limp­ing loonie are also salt­ing the sore. And there could be a sil­ver lin­ing in all this up­heaval, in the form of less crowd­ing and lower prices. Ac­cord­ing to a story in The Econ­o­mist, Tourism Eco­nomics, a fore­caster, ex­pects two mil­lion fewer for­eign visits to Amer­ica this year, a one per cent drop from 2016. With­out Mr. Trump, it had ex­pected a three per cent in­crease. The same story cites Ex­pe­dia CEO Dara Khos­row­shahi say­ing that Amer­i­can ho­tels and air­lines are al­ready cut­ting prices in an at­tempt to lure trav­ellers. “Don’t give up on us,” says former Obama speech­writer Ter­ence Szu­plat. “Amer­ica is big­ger than any one per­son, even the pres­i­dent. And we’re still here.” —IM

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