The Hill is reporting a 3.9 percent decrease in international travel to the U.S., according to data from the National Travel and Tourism Office, with the biggest decline in visitors coming from Mexico.
The new data comes amid increasing concern from the U.S. travel industry that the Trump administration’s efforts to tighten border and aviation security could discourage legitimate visitors from coming to the U.S.
The U.S. is likely feeling the effects of Trump's immigration rhetoric, speaking of such things as a "Muslim ban" and building a wall along the border with Mexico.
The travel sector has been urging the administration to more clearly communicate who is welcome to the U.S., warning that Trump’s policies could have a chilling effect on the $250 billion industry if not they are accompanied by proper messaging. Travel is the country's No. 2 export and supports more than 15 million American jobs, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, Roger Dow, said in a statement Wednesday that the newly released data is a "wake-up call" and that correcting the trend needs to be a "national priority".
“The travel industry will turn over every stone looking for all available policy options to better promote the U.S. as an international destination, and we stand ready to partner with the federal government to grow travel, and American jobs and exports along with it."