As the U.S. economy increasingly relies on visitors from abroad, American tourism businesses are looking to the European Union as a go-to customer base — and while some Europeans aren’t happy about President Trump’s efforts to browbeat free travel from the U.S., it appears to be an increasingly attractive proposition.
According to figures compiled by the U.S. Department of Commerce, international tourist visitation to the U.S. dipped slightly in June of this year compared to the same period in 2016, but is up 3.8 percent since the same time in 2017.
“American resorts, attractions, and vendors typically connect with foreign travelers through direct sales and online travel agencies, as well as through their own loyalty programs,” said a department spokesperson.
Looking ahead, U.S. exports to the EU are expected to grow more than 11 percent over the next year.
Many European visitors have reacted with outrage to the president’s statements about the openness of the U.S. to foreign visitors. France saw a spike in cancellations in the wake of Trump’s anti-travel order, and the French tourism industry has gone so far as to apply for a travel ban on Trump so that the president cannot use one of his properties for an official visit.
The shift, however, appears to be a proactive one, rather than a reactionary one. From cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to rural tourist attractions, more and more U.S. businesses are benefitting from a new American tourism market.
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