There’s Been A Dramatic Drop In Flight Searches To The U.S. Since The Inauguration, And It’s A Big Deal

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Calling Donald Trump a radical isn’t a particularly radical a thing to do. His policies play into a rote fear that many people feel (whether that fear is founded in reality or fantasy is a conversation for another post). As with all radical actors on the world stage, blowback is going to be massive and hit a whole swath of industries.

Current reports coming in from travel websites like Expedia and Cheapflights have shown a sharp decrease in flight searches to the United States and travelers are canceling their trips to the USA in record numbers. Boycotts have been launched around the globe. Worth noting: This is not good.

Cheapflights reports that there’s been a 25 percent decrease in searches for trips to the USA from the UK. That number may not sound alarming at first. It should. The USA is massively reliant on tourism across most sectors and the UK is a big part of that pie. Surely, this is a harbinger of a trend — Thailand is already celebrating their expected influx of tourists.

According to the U.S. Travel Association, we make an insane amount of money and employ millions from travel to the USA. Here are a few highlights:

  • Tourists spend $108.1 million an hour in the USA.
  • Tourists spend $2.1 trillion in the USA every year, half of which goes to secondary small businesses like bars, restaurants, theaters, and so on.
  • All of this generates $147.9 billion in annual tax revenue at the city, state, and federal levels.
  • Travel ranks as the seventh largest industry in the USA.

Granted these figures represent domestic travelers as well as international ones. If you just look at international travelers, they still supported 1.1 million jobs and $28.4 billion in wages in 2015 alone. And in a divided America, will we see less internal travel, too? Almost certainly.

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