Skift Take

In the end it will be difficult to tell if UK outbound travel to the U.S. will be hurt more by the poor pound-to-dollar exchange rate or the unfriendly welcome the new U.S. president is showing some visitors.

Electing a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women, wanted to ban Muslims from entering, and called Mexicans criminals and rapists was always likely to deter some people from travelling to the United States.

So far, however, the damage to the country’s image only extends into a large portion of the outbound tourist pie – at least in its third largest market.

Skift’s latest survey exploring the impact of Donald Trump’s election on potential visitors found that most (59.4 percent) respondents said that it made no difference to their travel plans.

For a portion people though, the President elect’s belligerent rhetoric appears to have done some damage. A total of 34 percent said they were less likely to visit.

For a small minority (6.6 percent) Trump’s victory over rival Hillary Clinton meant they were more likely to visit

The fact that just over a third of respondents have been put off by Trump’s victory is significant. The UK ranks behind Canada and Mexico, accounting for 4.9 million arrivals in 2015. Visitors from the country are the fifth highest spenders, contributing $16.1 billion to the economy.

Important: This survey — not served to Skift users — was administered to members of the adult internet population in the UK last week, through Google Consumer Surveys. The methodology is explained here.


What people say and what people do are two different things and at the moment the situation looks far from disastrous for the U.S. tourism industry, but that could all quickly change. We’ll only be able to get a full picture of the impact of the Trump presidency when official data starts to arrive next year.

The youngest respondents to the survey were the most anti-Trump. More people (47.6 percent) in the 18-24 age range said they were now less likely to visit than those who said it had had no impact (46.1 percent).

Those aged 65 and over were the least bothered by the election result with 71.5 percent saying their travel plans were unaffected.

The results show a very slim divide between the sexes. A total of 31.3 percent of male respondents said Trump made them less likely to travel to the U.S., this figure increased to 36.8 percent for women. Men said they were now 8.1 percent more likely to visit with the amount dropping to 5 percent for women.


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Tags: politics, surveys, tourism, trump

Photo credit: President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally in New York. A majority of Brits say their desire to travel to the U.S. has been unaffected by his election. Evan Vucci / Associated Press

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