By Josephine Wawira
Trump International Hotel & Tower New York is among more than a dozen hotels across the world owned by renowned businessman turned POTUS, Donald Trump. As it is, the man is no stranger to the hospitality industry, a fact that gives optimism to industry players not only in the US but also to the entire world. Trump’s hotels are eminent for their lavish style of architecture and facilities as well as their prominent residential locations that offer nothing less than class.
That said, the travel and tourism industry generated about $1.6 trillion in economic output in America in 2015, created 8.1 million jobs in the United States, and accounted for approximately 10% of all U.S. exports. This is according to a report published by SelectUSA on The Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the United States 2015.
While speculations continue approximately a week after Trump was announced US President Elect, it is still quite early to tell which direction things will take in the travel and hospitality industry. A lot will depend on the country’s economic direction, strength of the dollar and the rate of unemployment as this will affect hotel bookings depending on how Americans choose to use their disposable income; on leisure including travel or on more important necessities such as healthcare.
If more stern immigration policies are implemented by the Trump administration, it is also expected that foreign tourists may decide to keep off America, and instead seek to explore other parts of the world. Moreover, we cannot overemphasize the effects of the superpower’s international relations that it will have with other countries on travel and hospitality, considering that this will determine where people travel to or choose to invest.
Not to mention the fears over his campaign claim to reverse established relations with Cuba, that have shown remarkable progress during the Obama tenure. Any move towards this direction would mean a blockage to a new market that has recently been providing massive opportunities in the travel and hospitality sector through hosting an influx of American tourists visiting the Caribbean island.
Trump has been discredited by many especially for his seemingly unrefined style of language that he sometimes pulls off. But that is just who he is, Trump! And it doesn’t imply that he is going to overturn every existing policy in the country, well at least not those in favor of his business interests; given that there are governing systems in place to be followed.
While some industry players expect 2017 to have a downward trend in the sector, others remain optimistic that people will continue to travel. Furthermore, Estelle Verdier the Managing Director of Jumia Travel Eastern and Southern Africa believes that ‘the best time to travel is now, before any of the speculations can materialize after 20th January, when Trump officially becomes the 45th President of the United States of America’.