International U.S. tourism facing steep decline according to Foursquare Data

Published on : Friday, May 26, 2017

planeA new study finds international tourism to the U.S. has dropped as much as 16 percent in the months since President Donald Trump took office.


America’s share of international tourism saw the decline as compared to the same month last year, according a data analysis released by Foursquare. Foursquare found that America’s share of international tourism to leisure locations has declined by an average of 11 percent since October 2016, with a low of 16 percent in March.


California, in particular Los Angeles and San Diego are amongst the worst affected which saw the biggest decrease in international visitors. While both cities saw strong year-over-year gains in fall 2016, Foursquare found that international tourism dropped sharply in the first quarter of 2017.


Using data from 13 million users (who have opted in to always-on location trails), Foursquare can examine who walks in and out of 93 million public places across the globe. However, these  statistics represent ‘market share’ and not absolute figures; which means it shows U.S. as a destination versus the rest of the world as a destination.


The election of Donald Trump came with divisive rhetoric during the election and the attempts to forge equally divisive policies after taking office added to the disgust. The travel ban policies, ‘extreme vetting’ at airports, etc made the U.S. seem like a less welcoming place, which evidently affected the tourism segment.



The U.S. is losing tourist activity to foreign destinations, and business travel in the U.S. is also suffering. Although Foursquare reports that business, travel is up 3 percent in the U.S. YOY, that is below the trend line for other world destinations, which is closer to 10 percent growth.


Not just hotels and airlines but the retailers are also sure to feel the pinch by the big dips in foreign visitors. Foursquare’s data shows the drop in international tourism to the U.S. is causing an ‘opportunity cost’ of about 1.2 percent in total visits to U.S. shops, restaurants and attractions.

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