Travel to the U.S. has been on the decline ever since President Donald Trump took office, and new data shows the slump translates to a cost of $4.6 billion in lost spending and 40,000 jobs. According to the U.S. Travel Association, travel had outperformed overall U.S. export growth during the prior five years; the industry generated an $87 billion trade surplus in 2016, without which the U.S. trade deficit that year would have been 17 percent higher. Overall, the U.S. travel industry supports 15.3 million un-exportable American jobs.
"For our country to have any hope of closing the trade gap, international inbound travel must perform, simple as that," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "After almost a decade and a half of relatively sustained post-9/11 recovery, since 2015 there's been evidence that the country has gotten complacent with the policies needed to support this vital economic engine and job creator."