Tourism at Risk: Facebook Doesn't Kill People, People Do

This article was first published on my personal blog at Talkmarkets:

Donald Trump is a gun rights advocate. I would suggest he subscribes to the concept that guns don't kill people, people do. I think that is true. And yet, he is in preliminary discussions to view the social media of everyone who comes into the United States. He should believe that Facebook and social media don't kill people, people do. But apparently his paranoia has gotten the better of him.

Does anyone think that a terrorist would not have a pristine Facebook page if he wanted to come to the USA? Only the good people will be punished. And Americans will lose jobs, thousands upon thousands of jobs, potentially.

Many people would not come to the United States as tourists. Others may not decide to stay on social media. My fear for our nation is that Donald Trump wants to wall off our nation, not just from Mexico.

I believe that Donald Trump wants to make America almost totally insulated from goods coming in, from people coming in, from a healthy interactive contact with the world, and rely on Americans to buy the products made here. He may want exports, but who will buy as his policies alienate virtually every nation on the face of the earth? Where will the American people get the money to buy American products and potentially more American products produced by more factories coming home?

This radical and dangerous experiment could to destroy jobs by the millions. This could be the undoing of the nation. We have over 60 million travelers come to the USA every year. They spend more in the USA than in any other nation.

It is true that the Obama Administration initiated a program whereby ESTA travelers, those requiring no visa's, would voluntarily offer their social media accounts before traveling to the USA. These travelers are considered to be trusted and come from developed nations. However, Trump is talking about required divulgence of all social media and websites all foreign travelers visit as well as cell phone numbers. People may decide to go elsewhere.

From Wikipedia, we find out just how important tourism jobs in America are in the aftermath of 9/11:

The travel and tourism industry in the United States was among the first commercial casualties of the September 11, 2001 attacks, a series of terrorist attacks on the US. Terrorists used four commercial airliners as weapons of destruction, all of which were destroyed in the attacks with 3,000 casualties.[22] In the first full week after flights resumed, passenger numbers fell by nearly 45 percent, from 9 million in the week before September 11 to 5 million.[22] Hotels and travel agencies received cancellations across the world. The hotel industry suffered an estimated $700 million loss in revenue during the four days following the attacks.[22] The situation recovered over the following months as the Federal Reserve kept the financial system afloat. The U.S. Congress issued a $5 billion grant to the nation's airlines and $10 billion in loan guarantees to keep them flying.[22]In the US, tourism is either the first, second or third largest employer in 29 states, employing 7.3 million in 2004, to take care of 1.19 billion trips tourists took in the US in 2005.[23] The US outbound holiday market is sensitive in the short term, but possibly one of the most surprising results from the September 11, 2001 attacks was that by February 2002 it had bounced back. This quick revival was generally quicker than many commentators had predicted only five months earlier.[24]

If congress is concerned enough about tourism, this new idea from Donald Trump to check the social media of every visitor to the USA should send chills down the spines of all in congress.

While fewer Europeans come to America these days, it appears that Asians and Latin Americans are fueling the tourism boom in America. These are two of the areas that Donald Trump wants to attack with his trade policies. This is a bad idea, because you don't want people with lots of money to spend to stop coming to the USA!

Since that article was written, the number of tourists have declined, but bring more money each year to our shores. Each tourist is estimated to spend over 4 thousand dollars per visit. Without these tourists Americans would have to pay over 1 thousand dollars in taxes per year extra.

Walling America off will more than offset Donald Trump's concept of America First. It won't work. There are many issues with the unfairness of globalization. Trump can threaten our companies so they will come back and produce more here. I am for that. I am not for walling the nation off, because we will see a loss of confidence consumer going forward if the social media plan is put into place.

Travel companies and destination companies like Disney (DIS) could ultimately see a loss of business revenue. And this does not even take into account the Muslim travel ban. We can only wait for the details and hope a more sane judgement prevails. Otherwise the Trump shock will affect the market. Politics will impact economics. 


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