The US needs to be more welcoming as a tourist destination

 Wednesday, January 24, 2018 


tourist destination beaches in BrazilSpain will soon surpass the US from its No. 2 spot among the world’s top tourist destinations. Although definitive numbers might not be available till spring, France is expected to remain the most popular tourist destination in the world this year as well, with second place going to Spain, instead of the US, according to the UNWTO.

Spain’s natural and architectural beauty, along with warmth of its people, makes it the favorite travel destination for many tourists so far. The reason for Spain’s taking over the US as a favorite destination has much to do with Donald Trump’s rhetoric, which is scaring people away.

The number of international tourists visiting the US dropped by about 4% in the first six months of 2017,according to data released in December by the US National Travel and Tourism Office and the Department of Commerce.

“It’s known as the ‘Trump Slump,'” writes Arthur Frommer, founder of the popular Frommer’s Travel Guides. “And I know of no reputable travel publication to deny it.”
However, it’s not just tourism. Trump’s harsh rhetoric against other countries is also affecting the United States’ higher-education sector, another bright economic area.

When it comes to higher education, America still has the best image in the world. In fact, people are willing to pay a lot for acquiring a degree from an American college or university. If Trump doesn’t stop his reckless rhetoric, international students may start choosing a British or Australian university instead.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the number of new international students declined an average of 7% this past fall.

The Muslim-majority countries like Indonesia, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait and Pakistan send roughly 45,000 students to the US, and Saudi Arabia alone sends another 60,000 students.

Hence, there needs to be a wake-up call on trade for Mr. Trump. It’s high time the US gets back to a welcoming attitude to let dollars flow in.

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