July 9, 2018 Update

This week, we’re grabbing the third rail of the travel and tourism industry and the effects of travel restrictions on a few small countries.

Political correctness & politics have polluted the discussion…

Any Damage From Travel Bans…

It’s Travel Industry Leadership That Inflicted It.

Basics: The Travel Industry has taken security-based restrictions from a few countries and is mis-characterizing it as something much different, to the detriment of international inbound travel.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Trump Administration was within its authority to ban travel from a few small countries in the Middle East.

These are countries that have been determined to have major security issues. Hence the travel restrictions. Note, too, that as far as inbound tourism goes, these places aren’t anywhere near the radar screen.

The situation is simple: A few countries, which in total comprise no meaningful global percentage of any racial group or religion, with local security deemed dangerous the US, were included in a travel restriction.

So it should be a simple matter. But it’s been a raw controversy for the better of a year and a half.

On the whole, it’s been a shameful period for much of the leadership across the US travel and tourism industry.


Political Leanings Take Precedence Over Facts.  Instead of accurately discussing the core reasons for the travel bans from these few small and specific countries, these “leaders” instead took to their bully pulpits to imply to the world that the bans were completely unnecessary and discriminatory and simply served to make all foreign visitors feel unwelcome here.

Take this to the bank: Whatever collateral decline in foreign visitation that may have been experienced, supposedly as a result of these travel bans, has been entirely the result of the angry rhetoric from the travel industry itself in completely and loudly mischaracterizing the intent of these actions.

Take a look at the statement from one of the Washington organizations supposedly in place to build travel to America:

“The most important thing is the administration has got to change its rhetoric to welcoming legitimate travelers from around the world because the noise has been so loud around this issue that we’ve been hurt in inbound international travel.”

The “noise” and the political “rhetoric” has been entirely from the supposed leaders in the travel industry. They are the ones who’ve trumpeted the nonsense that a ban on travel from a few places – which were due to security concerns – represented an across-the-board implication that the administration was arbitrarily making the nation look un-welcoming.

The administration never “discouraged” legitimate travelers… if there has been any reduction to in-bound US visitation, it’s because our own travel industry leaders implied to the world that the administration was against free travel from legitimate and safe nations.

Worse, much of the media describes the restrictions as a “Muslim travel ban,” which is a wholesale lie. Unfortunately, the travel industry has been completely silent in any attempts to refute this.

Pretty disgusting.

Concocting Sinister Intentions, Instead of  Illuminating The USA Experience. These folks knew full well that the proposed restrictions were based on security considerations – specific to those few countries – and devoid of any other supposed sinister considerations.

One would have thought that targeted actions to make travel to the US safer would be applauded by people who are supposedly paid to enhance travel. The same people who are paid to illuminate the facts about travel to the USA.

But instead, from the start, a number of these gurus misused their positions of responsibility to turn the issue into one that had little to do with the facts regarding national security.

Go back and do a search, and you’ll find these people making speeches at industry meetings and elsewhere that “travel bans” are bad business for America, and that they deter people in all countries from feeling welcome here.

The message – their message – to the rest of the world: “smart” travelers will reconsider coming here, because the US inflicts discrimination against some countries.

‘Course, the security issue was almost never brought up, and instead, they spread the implication that that these proposed travel bans were simply bad policy.

The inaccurate and misleading message – one that these travel leaders themselves promulgated – was that people from Copenhagen won’t – and by implication, shouldn’t want to – come here if there is a ban on some tiny terrorist-affected place like Yemen.

That is a load of what gets shoveled off the barn floor.

Concocting & Encouraging An Inaccurate Image of America. Once again, to be clear, the message of “not welcome here” was aggressively spread by these travel leaders themselves, by intentionally mischaracterizing a security policy as one that meant the Administration arbitrarily discriminates and doesn’t want foreign travel.

The rhetoric and noise is all theirs.

So, any “hit” to US visitation can be put on their laps, because they are the ones telling the world that the US has been unfriendly to foreigners.

From Blaring Bullhorns, Back To Church Mice. Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision, some of these same groups are calling on the Administration to reach out and assure foreign visitors that they are, after all, welcome here.

Funny, but these same travel leaders had no problem reaching out and trumpeting to the world that these bans – based on security considerations – were terrible things and bad for business. Now, they somehow have no voices left. They won’t tell the world that we are – and have been – open and welcoming. Now, it’s supposedly not their position to speak out.

So, going forward, we do need to look to new programs to enhance international visitation… because some of the top (supposed) leadership have so badly mischaracterized this issue.

Pretty sad.