President Trump's relentless message about creating new jobs in the U.S. is at odds with the message that is coming from his proposed travel ban and related comments about Mexico, China and other countries. The message foreign travelers are hearing is that the U.S. isn't anxious to welcome visitors to our country.
The seven-nation travel ban announced in January has been blocked by the Federal Courts, most recently on Thursday by the Fourth Circuit, but it has already had an impact on destination tourism travel to the U.S.
These actions have set in motion consequences that could affect our country for years to come.
International travel to the U.S. creates and supports a large number of jobs in the travel industry. Since the January White House travel ban announcement, international tourism to the United States has seen a substantial decline. The result of that is jeopardizing the jobs and economic growth that comes from the U.S. travel industry.
Clearly, in this new age of terrorist threats, we need to carefully vet international arrivals to the U.S. That makes sense. Our safety and security depend on it.
But at the same time there are powerful reasons we should be encouraging travel to the United States by citizens of other countries who want to see America. The opportunity for others to learn about our people and our country is another important way to make us more secure.
In addition to the proposed travel ban, the actions taken against some international travelers in recent months have sent the same negative message about travel to the U.S.
For example, on February 26th, French historian Henry Rousso, who had travelled to our country more than thirty times, was landing in Houston to speak at a Texas A&M Conference.