Mixing politics and business is rarely a great idea and it is becoming clear that the Trump brand is taking a hit across the U.S., in both Democrat and Republican-leaning areas, from Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s poll numbers may go up and down but one thing that’s more certain is foot traffic to U.S. Trump-branded properties is down — by double digit percentages — according to Foursquare data.
At Trump-branded properties (or properties that license and use the Trump name that Donald Trump does not actually own), the share of foot traffic has been down by an average of 16 percent year-over-year since March. Foot traffic shares has been down an average of 7.4 percent overall since Donald Trump announced his U.S. presidential campaign in June 2015, according to Foursquare.
Share of foot traffic was down by 14 percent last month compared to July 2015.
A Skift survey in May also found Trump’s hotel business has clear challenges with its target market, with 56.9 percent of respondents indicating they were “less likely” to stay in a Trump-branded hotel because of Trump’s campaign.
Foursquare looked at check-ins and location data from its 50 million active monthly Foursquare and Swarm mobile app users at U.S. Trump-branded hotels, resorts, and golf courses from June 2015 to July 2016. Foursquare looked at explicit check-ins, or those where users actually share their locations with Foursquare, as well as implicit visits from Foursquare and Swarm app users who didn’t explicitly share their location but have their app’s location services running in the background on their mobile devices.
The analysis didn’t include any Trump-branded properties outside of the U.S.
The resulting data show the share of visits that Trump-branded properties received as a percentage of total visits to hotels, golf courses, and resorts in the same geographic areas. For example, the study looked at the Trump SoHo’s share of traffic compared to other hotels nearby in New York City.
Trump SoHo, Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, and Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey have seen the most decreases in traffic, down 17 to 24 percent in raw foot traffic this past year as compared to the previous year. On August 3 the owner of Trump Taj Mahal, billionaire Carl Icahn, announced the property would close next month after losing nearly $100 million during the past 18 months. Icahn, however did not say if he’s attributing the hotel’s demise to Trump’s campaign and Atlantic City in general has been falling apart in recent years.
“In our research, we also cross-checked our market share analysis against absolute visits, to ensure that the dip in foot traffic share was not due to a sudden increase in traffic to non-Trump venues for reasons unrelated to the Trump properties,” said Foursquare.
“In this view, again we see the same decrease in visits to Trump properties by about 10 percent overall this past year as compared to the previous year.”
Foursquare also examined foot traffic data in “blue states,” or those U.S. states that have historically voted for Democrat presidential candidates and also for “purple or swing states,” or U.S. states that have voted for both Democrat and Republican presidential candidates in the past.
Trump-branded properties in Illinois, New York, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C. are located in blue states or districts, according to Foursquare, while properties in Florida and Nevada are located in purple/swing states.
While both male and female foot traffic in blue states is down at Trump-branded properties female traffic is down significantly more, shown in the chart below. The difference in traffic widened beginning in March 2016 and continued through last month with female visits down 29 percent for July 2016 compared to male visits down only six percent.
Trump-branded properties’ overall share of visits in blue states were down 20 percent last month and have been down an average of eight percent since June 2015.
Trump-branded properties’ share of visits in swing states saw double-digit decreases beginning in March 2016 but last month were down only three percent compared to last year. Purple state properties’ foot traffic share has been down an average of three percent since June 2015. These include the Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida and the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, Nevada.
Source: Foursquare and Swarm data
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Photo credit: Bellmen outside the Trump SoHo in New York City, NY. U.S. Trump-branded properties' share of foot traffic has been falling since Trump began his presidential campaign last year. Alexander Acker / Flickr