It’s a New Administration. What Have You Heard? What Do You Think?

It’s a New Administration.  What Have You Heard?  What Do You Think?

We are just a couple of days away from the Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump, a member of the hospitality industry and an outspoken advocate for changes in matters affecting the presence of international visitors to the United States.

In the campaign, the post-election transition period, and now in the days running up to the Inauguration with the accompanying hearings on Cabinet nominations, there have been many comments relating to our relationships with other countries.

Some of these comments include building a wall on the Mexican border, toughening some entry requirements, changing the relationship with China vis-a-vis Taiwan, imposing trade tariffs on countries including Canada, and even dropping out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).  With these kinds of policy discussions swirling around, the question of how America’s welcome mat will be perceived moving forward is crucial.

This conversation is one which will obviously be of major importance to inbound operators and their clients abroad.

With the IITA Summit just less than three weeks away, it is suggested that our members prepare themselves to participate in a dialogue on this matter and others which will be important in the early days of the Trump Administration.

We have a two-part suggestion.  First, talk with your clients to see if any perceptions have changed on travel to America, whether it be with the clients or their customers.  Secondly, put your own thoughts in order, so IITA can have a clear view on how we want to express ourselves on this issue and other important agenda items at the onset of the Trump years.

In fact, if you feel strongly and have formulated opinions on this or any other policy matter, you can send it now to headquarters@inboundtravel.org, so that input can start to be collected before we get to Biloxi in February.

After you consider the “welcome mat” issues, take some time to review your thoughts on other top initial issues, such as the trillion dollar national infrastructure investment proposal, funding the National Park System and how its admission policies are now being managed at a more local level, and whether some public lands should be turned back for management at the state level.  All of these matters will also generate significant discussions and IITA should decide which of them represents a point of interest and how IITA will express its opinion.

Thank you in advance for your input!  IITA looks forward to strengthening its voice on national matters impacting inbound tourism through the input of our members in 2017.