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Twitter users are using a tweet by Trump Hotels in 2011 to attack the U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s new ban on all travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The hotel chain’s rather innocuous question “Tell us your favorite travel memory – was it a picture, a souvenir, a sunset? We’d love to hear it!” received few responses when first posted in October of 2011. But over the last eight hours hundreds have posted responses which call out the company’s figurehead for his decision to bar refugees and other visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
For a hotel brand with a small following on Twitter, it’s now easily one of the brand’s most popular tweets.
— Aminatou Sow (@aminatou) January 28, 2017
@TrumpHotels My grandmother's travel to England, after being freed from Auschwitz.
— John Epler (@eplerjc) January 28, 2017
Mine is my mother's story of fleeing Nazi Germany by train for Brussels where she lived in hiding until she could escape to US as a refugee https://t.co/w55C9ynjoo
— Susan Kandel (@susanrkandel) January 28, 2017
@TrumpHotels When my 12-year-old great grandpa sailed by himself from Germany to the US to avoid being murdered by Nazis.
— Aviva Detroit (@avivadetroit) January 28, 2017
@TrumpHotels My great-grndfather coming to U.S. as refugee from E. Europe (now Belarus) to escape persecution for his religion in late 1800s
— anne burdick (@anneburdick) January 28, 2017
The responses also spoke to travelers’ worries about what it is like to travel abroad in the current political climate.
@TrumpHotels I remember the old days, when you could travel abroad without feeling ashamed of being an American in the Trump era.
— David Walker (@DavidWalk3) January 28, 2017
.@TrumpHotels Being abroad when Obama was elected and seeing how happy everybody was for both America and the world.
— jdh (@502eire) January 28, 2017
— Amy (@bluevelvetspock) January 28, 2017
More than one user praised other luxury brands and others compared Trump Hotels to non-luxury properties.
Mine is staying at the Four Seasons when I travel!
Trump hotels are the Motel 6's of fancy hotels.
— Kaj-Erik Eriksen (@KajEriksen) January 28, 2017
While others sought to put a human face on the new travel ban.
— Sarah Ra (@hundredgrapes) January 28, 2017
Trump Hotels has steered clear of politics for the most part, only rarely celebrating the political achievements of the man who gave the brand its name, yet is largely uninvolved in the business.
This hasn’t prevented the chain from making headlines for non-hospitality stories. Earlier this month, liens of $5 million were placed on the Washington, D.C. property by workers who were not paid for their work. On Monday, a lawsuit was filed because the D.C. property is being operated in violation of its existing lease.
It’s a challenging situation for a luxury brand that has in recent years distanced itself from its namesake by delivering a product that eschewed the gaudy nature of its early years for a style and guest experience that was aimed at urban sophisticates. Following Trump’s entry into politics, consumers from this segment demonstrated a clear aversion to the product in two separate surveys in May and November of 2016. A new brand from the company announced in June will avoid the Trump name altogether for Scion, a rarity for an organization that is largely a branding play.