‘Trump Slump’ Leads Spain To Overtake U.S. In Tourism Ranking
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
According to data and analytics company GlobalData, Spain is expected to become the second most popular tourist destination in the world, overtaking the U.S. as the so-called ‘Trump Slump’ cause a dip in the US tourism industry
“As Spain overtakes the U.S. in the list of the most visited countries in the world, the global tourist community has sent a strong message that divisive and discriminatory policies can greatly hamper sector growth,” said Konstantina Boutsioukou, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData.
Despite the recent political uncertainty following the Catalan independence referendum and the terror attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils last August, the Spanish tourism industry has proved to be robust and has experienced strong growth in the last 12 months.
According to figures from GlobalData, international arrivals to Spain increased by 4.8%; from 75.6 million tourists in 2016 to 79.3 million in 2017. The UK, followed by France and Germany, are the three largest source markets for Spain, making up 53% of total arrivals to the country.
Official statistics by the UNWTO have not been released, however current projections from the organization reveal that arrivals to the U.S. are down from 75.9 million in 2016, to 72.9 in 2017. The decline of tourism is estimated to cost the US economy $255 million a week, equivalent to $13.3 billion a year. However, New York City and Los Angeles have fared better than most U.S. cities. Arrivals to Los Angeles have increased by 2.2%, mainly due to a growth in domestic arrivals and Chinese visitors. New York arrivals have increased by 2.1% mainly due to a surge in domestic visitors.
Boutsioukou adds, “The travel restrictions are seen by many tourists as state-sponsored Islamophobia, and are putting off many travellers from visiting the U.S. The ban has given rise to a general wave of withdrawals particularly among Middle Eastern, African and European tourists. Flows from Mexico have also registered a decline, as Mexican citizens seek to boycott the construction of the ‘Trump Wall’ at the border between Mexico and the U.S.’’
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.