Published on : Monday, June 18, 2018
Graduation season is coming to an end and summer vacation is just setting off, and it’s a time that’s enjoyed by Americans and visitors in the same way. Foreign tourists flock to America’s beaches, parks and cities, and students come from all over the world to study in the world-class universities of the US. But as per data, this summer may bring fewer of both.
Tourists and students account for roughly 80 percent of total non-immigrant visas issued by the U.S. each year. This initiates economic growth and helps to empower the tourism industry and higher education system.
Last year, international tourism directly contributed more than $200 billion to the U.S. economy, and international students contributed close to $40 billion.
However, fewer overseas travelers are choosing to come to America, which poses a threat not only to these industries, but to economic growth at large. Specifically, issuance of B visas — for both business purposes and pleasure — has fallen by up to 15 percent.
The number of international students opting to study in the United States has also fallen. During the 2017-18 academic year, American colleges and universities saw a drop in international enrollment for the first time in over a decade. A 4 percent slump hit undergraduate and graduate programs equally. Several factors are to blame for this.
Firstly, the U.S. dollar has strengthened over the past few years, which has affected the buying power of foreign visitors and might cause travelers rethink about their travelling plans to the US.
Recent policy changes and political rhetoric also play a role. The Trump administration has increased barriers to entry for foreign guests.
The infamous travel ban, along with administrative changes to the visa vetting process, mean several countries are now seeing fewer visas approved.