Written by Staff Writer
There was a time not so long ago when the US was the go-to destination for visitors, with tourists flocking to Texas, the Carolinas and other states to take advantage of the late summer and fall’s temperate weather and other warm climate benefits.
The Trump administration’s attempt to ban travel to the US from majority-Muslim countries, including Yemen, a country with which the US has friendly relations, prompted many to question the stability of the US as a travel destination.
Then came the high-profile killings of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue in October. Whether the ban was behind the spike in hate crimes in the US is unclear. What is known is that tourists stayed away, and tourist arrivals plummeted. In September, the number of visitors to the US fell to 8.65 million, the first drop in seven years, while the number of people staying at hotels in the US dropped 2.2%, according to a report from the National Retail Federation and the retail travel consultancy Phocuswright.
The drop, though not large, is concerning because tourist spending supported over 235,000 US jobs last year, according to the Department of Commerce .