Following the November election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, travel executives have been "both careful and hopeful in their statements," according to travel industry research company Phocuswright, which held its annual conference in Los Angeles just one week after the presidential election. (Phocuswright and Successful Meetings are both part of Northstar Travel Group.)
"They cited the difference between campaign rhetoric and actual policy. Some expressed optimism, given the President Elect's background in the hotel industry, that his administration would take a pragmatic, business-friendly approach," Phocuswright said of the travel executives who spoke at its event, echoing the sentiment that industry leaders shared with Successful Meetings recently when it asked them about the potential impact of a Trump presidency on travel.
Despite the industry's cautious optimism, however, Phocuswright says there is cause for concern: Following the election, it surveyed 1,500 European travelers and found that some of them are rethinking U.S. travels due to the country's election results.
Specifically, Phocuswright reported, one in five travelers in the United Kingdom and France, and one in three travelers in Germany, said they're less likely to visit the United States during Trump's presidency. Hesitance is especially strong among European women, 27 percent of who said they're less likely to visit the United States, compared to 19 percent of European men.
"These results do not necessarily mean the U.S. will see a corresponding decline in European visitors in 2017," Phocuswright stressed. "Attitudes … change over time, and much will depend on the policies that the forthcoming administration actually implements. Phocuswright will continue to track this and survey European travelers again … to see how attitudes are evolving."
The company's conclusion: "Considering a range of cautious optimism, negative sentiment among a set of European travelers, and continued questions about what the new administration will actually do, the only certainty right now is uncertainty."
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