New York City expected tourism from foreigners to fall after President Trump’s chaotic announcement of his first executive order in January which banned travel from seven majority-Muslim countries because it was unclear which travelers would be allowed into the country. However, as reported by Crain’s, it’s not just money-spending travelers that have avoided the Big Apple; it’s student and youth groups that are canceling trips to the city.
Hotel managers have reported a large uptick in cancellations and delays of bookings from youth groups as a response to the Trump administration’s travel ban. And despite revising the executive order to only ban foreigners from six of the original seven countries and allowing visa and green card holders to stay in the country, it seems the first travel ban left enough of a negative impression that foreigners remain wary of coming to the U.S.
One England-based international youth group, World Merit, canceled their reservation at New York Hostel on Amsterdam Avenue of between 800 and 1,000 beds over 10 days in August. The youth group planned on participating in WorldMerit360, an annual event which collaborates with the United Nations to promote its sustainable development goals. It held the event in the UK instead of traveling to New York.
An advocacy group in D.C., the Alliance for International Exchange, reported declines in the number of foreign students interested in living with an American family for one year. The organizations which sponsor student exchanges reported a drop between 30 and 50 percent in applications from countries like France, Germany and Sweden. And while none of those countries are included within Trump’s travel ban, it’s clear groups remain hesitant to book hotels in New York City.
Last month, city officials predicted a drop in foreign visitors for the first time in seven years. NYC & Company, the city’s tourism agency, said to expect 300,000 fewer foreigners this year than in 2016, when about 12.7 million visitors traveled to the city. The agency estimated this drop will cost NYC businesses about $600 million.
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