TRAVELLING IN TROUBLED TIMES
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