Skift Take

Politics and business aren't always a disaster, but in the case of Trump Hotels it's becoming harder and harder to distinguish the brands.

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!”┬áreceived 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.

The responses also spoke to travelers’ worries about what it is like to travel abroad in the current political climate.

More than one user praised other luxury brands and others compared Trump Hotels to non-luxury properties.

While others sought to put a human face on the new travel ban.

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.

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Tags: politics, trump hotels, twitter

Photo credit: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, together with his family in the hotel lobby, during the grand opening of Trump International Hotel in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. 204352 / 204352

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