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  • Writer's pictureGunnar Garfors

Make America Tourist-Friendly Again

Tay-young Pak, Øystein Djupvik and I visited 22 US states in 24 hours. Perhaps we ought to visit a different country next time.

Make America great again, the new president of the US has shouted all over the place before and after being elected. Not remembering, caring or perhaps even knowing that America consists of two continents, totalling 35 countries. The USA is only one of those. But the US of A is also the second most visited country in the world, with almost 70 million tourists a year. What if we stop visiting?

That would have a huge negative impact on the US economy, and perhaps help the new administration understand that we are living in a global world where countries need to cooperate and are dependant of each other.

The only country visited by more tourists than the US is France. But the US is number one when you look at income by tourists. And these are not small figures. In 2015, foreign tourists spent 205 billion USD in the US, almost double that of country number two (China). 205 billion dollars is approximately 10 walls on the Mexican border.

Chilling in New Jersey.

But let us say that Trump manages to make the US economy better and stronger. That will inevitably mean, given his approach of non-cooperation, that other economies become weaker. Which will again leave people in other countries with less money to spend on travels. Which means fewer visitors to the US.

Then again, we can always go for a different approach. A proactive one. We can chose to travel with our money elsewhere. And there are many reasons for us to do so. Trump’s demeaning behaviour, for starters. He has already attacked and will most likely keep attacking minorities, women, NGOs, the environment, Mexico, LGBT, the ordinary tax payer and many others. Why should we as international consumers reward such behaviour by going to the US or by buying US products? If Trump’s behaviour makes 10 % of us rather go to a different destination instead of the States, we’re talking over 20 billion USD in lost revenues for the US. Aka. one wall’s worth.

Fear was never much of a tourist attraction, even though the former reality show host himself might be. To some. Just don’t expect him to invite you on tea and cookies. Unless you have a few billion dollars to spare, of course.

There are also a lot of countries that are far more interesting and far more different to your own than the US. I mean, all of us have consumed US films, music and TV series. We have bought into the American way of life and partly adopted it in most countries. Why not seek inspiration elsewhere?

And if you can afford travelling all the way to the US, you can most likely afford exploring less known parts of the world too. And support these economies while at it. Maybe even the least-visited countries on the planet.

I don’t think terrorists or bullies-in-chief should stop you from persuing the art of travelling to whichever destination you chose. But as long as he goes about attacking just about anybody in such a degrading and anything but constructive manner, why should we necessarily help him in his quest to improve the USA? Trump doesn’t care about anybody but the US, judging by his inauguration speech. There is no reason for us to assist his discriminatory efforts in any way. And by staying away, we will make America want tourists again – or at least our dollars. That seems to be the only language the new administration there understands. Sadly.

Let me finish by saying that I think you should travel wherever you want, and that does by all means include to the US.

But Trump has just made himself a reasons to think twice before going there. Actually, just thinking at all is a good start. Also when it comes to chosing a hotel, resort or restaurant. Trump claims to own a few of those.

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