Is Trump Hurting U.S. Tourism? The Numbers Basically Point To Yes

Ad failed to load

It's been about eight months since President Donald Trump ascended to the highest office in American politics, and in many ways, the most powerful office in the world. And there have been many consequences of that, politically, socially, and now from the looks of things, economically too. That's because some new tourism numbers from early 2017 have been released, and they paint a somewhat telling picture ― is Donald Trump actually hurting U.S. tourism? Are more people from foreign countries choosing to stay away now that he sits in the Oval Office?

Of course, it's necessary to note that not all economic trends are referendums on the president. Just as Trump has repeatedly tried to take credit for trends in job growth that were going on for years during the Obama administration, sometimes looking at these things as a simple matter of cause, effect, and who gets the credit can be misleading.

That said, as The New York Times detailed on Wednesday, the drop in the tourism rate is very noticeable. According to the data, released by the U.S. Department of Commerce this week, nearly 700,000 fewer foreigners traveled to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2017, a drop of about 4.6 percent when compared to last year's numbers. This reportedly amounts to about $2.7 billion in lost spending in the U.S. economy, a very considerable sum of money.

Ad failed to load

As the Times notes, the tourism industry was down by a much greater percentage in 2008, in the months immediately following the swearing-in of then-President Barack Obama ― in fact, it was 14 percent lower than it had been in the early part of 2007.

There was an obvious reason for the drop, however, one that doesn't help explain what's going on in 2017. Namely, the U.S. and the world was still in the immediate aftermath of the 2007 global financial crisis, muddling through the first steps of recovery from one of the worst economic catastrophes in nearly 80 years. As such, it was no shock to see tourism drop. To the contrary, it would've been nothing short of shocking for foreigners to continue visiting the U.S. at the same rater, given those dire financial circumstances.

Ad failed to load

Right now, in 2017, there isn't such a clear answer. The Times report does note, however, that Gallup's tracking poll on America's popularity in the world does track downwards along with the reduction in tourism, tumbling from 64 percent of foreign responders having a positive view of America to just 49 percent at the beginning of Trump's first term.

That's not subtle, and it lends some weigh to the notion that tourism is suffering because of America's inflammatory, often xenophobic new president. Trump's own personal approval ratings worldwide are incredibly low, as well, which could help explain why fewer people wanted to come visit America and sample its cultural fare.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Ad failed to load

Make no mistake, this is precisely the sort of news the Trump administration ― perhaps first and foremost Trump himself ― will not appreciate. Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump billed himself as a business pro, a master salesman, and a consummate deal-maker, the sort of person who could restore America to the top of the world.

Thus far, however, those qualities have not exactly been in evidence, as he's failed to cut any major deals (except ones where he's basically accepted the other side's terms), and hasn't considerable improved the U.S. economy. If you add the rest of the world being so turned off by him that they stop showing up to visit to that mix, it would not be hard to imagine Trump being bothered by it all. Of course, to be entirely fair to him, it'll be worth seeing how the rest of the year's tourism figures look before passing judgment.

Ad failed to load

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

What I Learned About Work-Life Balance After Relapsing From Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Almost two years ago, I woke up in a hotel room, groggy and dehydrated, with my clothes all over the room and my nightstand filled with mini bottles of liquor. I had spent the previous two days drinking all the alcohol in my mini bar. I'm not sure wh…
By Irina Gonzalez

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

Bustle Editors On CPAC + 'Making A Murderer'

Adulthood is, essentially, just waiting until the weekend hits — which is why I know we're all glad it's finally Friday. Whether your plans are to catch up on all the Netflix content that'll be leaving the platform at the end of February, a weekend g…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale