LONDON: Donald Trump’s experience as a hotelier and businessman has not convinced the global travel industry that him winning the US Election would be good for business as per World Travel Market (WTM) London research released on Monday 7 November.
WTM London’s annual survey reveals that an overwhelming majority of industry professionals at 60% found Hillary Clinton to be a better nominee for global business than Trump. He got just 7% of the votes. Almost one in three felt that neither candidate would be good for business.
WTM London polled 2,044 senior industry professionals and 1,000 UK holidaymakers. The event sees buyers with a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn). WTM London 2016 is being held currently from Monday 7 – Wednesday 9 November.
British holidaymakers found Trump to be the least appealing politician to sit next to on a flight. Only 3% opted to choose Trump as their preferred choice, compared with 17% who would like to chat to Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s low approval rating comes even with his empire of leisure and hospitality businesses around the world including 15 Trump Hotels, spas, luxury lodges and golf courses. Many of his proposed policies like building a wall between the US and Mexico, banning Muslims from entering the US, were taken as a sign that travel to the US might become problematic for many were he to win the US elections.
His approach differs greatly to outgoing President Barack Obama, who oversaw a number of initiatives encouraging visits to the US. He paved the way for Brand USA, the public-private partnership promoting inbound travel to the US, launched at WTM London in 2011.
Trump’s policies sit uneasily with Brand USA’s efforts to welcome 100 million international visitors to the US by 2021, up from 70 million in 2013. More recently, Obama was in Beijing with China’s President Xi to sign an agreement declaring 2016 as the US-China Tourism Year and launching a number of tourism-related initiatives between the two countries.
World Travel Market Senior Director Simon Press said, “From the global travel industry’s perspective, Obama has had a positive effect on US inbound and outbound tourism and we hope that whoever wins the election will have a similarly positive attitude to travel.”
Musafir Namah Bureau