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CEO DATELINE – U.S. Travel Association meets with Trump

Sept. 5, 2018
By Walt Williams

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The CEO of the U.S. Travel Association and the top executives of 13 member companies met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to talk about the economic benefits of the travel industry.

Foreign visitation to the U.S. has dropped since 2015 in a trend that has alarmed the travel industry. Some industry observers have blamed recent drops on Trump and his “America first” rhetoric—with some even labeling the trend the “Trump slump.” But in February, U.S. Travel joined with nine other industry groups to form a coalition to address the issue and emphasize the decline began before Trump came into office.

In a statement, U.S. Travel CEO Roger Dow said Tuesday’s meeting focused on job creation and “the importance of international inbound travel to trade deficit reduction.”

“Our discussion with the president was simple: A strong flow of international business and leisure travelers into the U.S. reduces the trade deficit and creates an outsize number of American jobs,” Dow said. “There is a global international travel boom, and there is a huge opportunity to greatly expand upon the already strong economy.”

Specifically, Dow and travel industry executives spoke to Trump about transportation infrastructure, expanding and enhancing visa policies and supporting Brand USA, a private-public partnership with the U.S. government to promote the country as a tourism and meetings destination.