It’s a bombshell none of us could have ever predicted (besides here, here, and HERE, where we specifically predicted it): As anti-Mexican sentiment continues to grow in America, citizens of the country our president keeps threatening to build a wall — Is it a fence now? — around are actually choosing not to visit these fifty nifty United States, regardless of the fact that we have both a Disney Land and a Disney World.
According to The LA Times, even those Mexican citizens who regularly spend time in America as tourists have chosen not to continue infusing our economy with cash money as long as Trump is in power. One man who spoke to the outlet said that he’ll be taking a sabbatical from his twice-yearly “jaunts” to the country until after the current administration has left power.
Of course, that’s just one guy, right? Who cares if some dude who liked to come here to buy Christmas presents doesn’t want to spend thousands of bucks on souvenirs for his family. And, according to commenters over at the L.A. Times, some are even seeing this move as a good thing because now the Mexican people can infuse their own economy with cash instead of traveling to a country who doesn’t need their help. And while that response is already 175% xenophobic and bigoted (maybe world travel is something these people need?), it’s also very misguided, because, it turns out, the economy is more complicated than the tweets that our commander-in-chief keeps making about it.
Tourism Economics, a global research firm, estimates that lost visits from Mexico to the U.S. this year will total 1.8 million — a 7% drop from the previous year — with direct economic loss of $1.1 billion.
The firm estimates that Mexico-to-U.S. travel will diminish even further in 2018, with 2.6 million lost visits and direct economic losses totaling $1.6 billion.
Cesar Romero, the president of GMA, a group of travel associations, said he’s been told by his colleagues that there’s been a 15% to 20% decrease in interest in travel to the U.S. since Trump took office in January. Travel experts blame the trend on Trump and his “America first” rhetoric, as well as the hostile way he spoke of Mexico along the campaign trail.
If that’s not enough, Money reports that the amount of tourists coming to see the sights (from all around the world) may drop by up to 6.3 million people annually, meaning that American businesses that cater to tourists — restaurants, hotels, that place that charges you five bucks to see a giant ball of yarn — may suffer dearly. In fact, Money estimates that the amount of lost revenue won’t be $1.6 billion when it’s all said and done, but something much closer to 30 billion dollars.
Unfortunately, it’s not only the government’s overt policies that are keeping people away. As more and more people feel comfortable being open with bigoted opinions and hateful rhetoric, would-be visitors are more and more scared of what could happen to them if they booked a trip to the US. The solution? Resist bigotry and hatred whenever and wherever you can. For everyone else, perhaps they’ll see things differently once the money stops rolling in.