Donald Trump’s experience as an hotelier and businessman has not convinced the global travel industry that his winning the US Election would be better for business than serial politician Hillary Clinton, reveals World Travel Market London research released today (Monday 7 November) at the event.
Less than 24 hours before the election takes place, WTM London’s annual survey reveals that an overwhelming majority of industry professionals – 60% – think that Clinton would be better for the global business than Trump, who registered a mere 7%.
The balance – almost one in three – feel neither candidate would be good for business. Trump’s low approval rating comes despite his owning of a number of leisure and hospitality businesses around the world, including 15 Trump Hotels, spas, luxury lodges and golf courses. However, many of his proposed policies – building a wall between the US and Mexico, banning Muslims from entering the US – are a sign that travel to the US might become problematic for many were he to win tomorrow’s election.
His approach differs greatly to outgoing President Barack Obama, who oversaw a number of initiatives during his tenure which encouraged visits to the US. He paved the way for Brand USA, the public-private partnership promoting inbound travel to the US, which was launched at WTM London in 2011.
Trump’s policies sit uneasily with Brand USA’s efforts to welcome 100 million international visitors to the US by 2021, up from 70 million in 2013. More recently Obama was in Beijing with China’s President Xi to sign an agreement declaring 2016 as the US-China Tourism Year and launching a number of tourism-related initiatives between the two countries.
Closer to home, British holidaymakers questioned for the report found Trump to be the least appealing politician to sit next to on a flight. Only 3% opted to choose Trump as their preferred choice, compared with 17% who would like to chat to Hillary Clinton.
World Travel Market Senior Director Simon Press said: “From the global travel industry’s perspective, Obama has had a positive effect on US inbound and outbound tourism and we hope that whoever wins the election will have a similarly positive attitude to travel.”
WTM London polled 2,044 senior industry professionals and 1,000 UK holidaymakers.
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).
WTM London 2016 will be revamped as a three-day event from Monday 7 – Wednesday 9 November, with opening hours extended from 10am – 7pm for all three days.