Last winter, the US tourism industry fretted that Trump administration policies might lead to a "Trump slump" in travel. But those fears may have been premature. International arrivals and travel-related spending are up in 2017 compared with the same period in 2016. There might even be a "Trump bump," says Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association, a nonprofit representing the travel industry. A few months ago, Dow and others warned that President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and ban on travel from a handful of mostly Muslim countries could send an anti-tourism message. But "impending doom hasn't manifested itself," Dow tells the AP. "Right now we cannot identify a loss."
"It's contrary to everything we've heard, but travel is in slightly better shape than it was a year ago," Dow says. The latest numbers from the US Travel Association's Travel Trends Index show 6.6% growth in international travel to the US in April and 5% growth in May compared with the same months last year. Companies that track online behavior say searches for US travel are down. Yet tour companies are "not only holding year over year, but in many cases they're having a record year," according to Chris Thompson, CEO of Brand USA, which markets the US to the world. He says that if a slump does happen, it may have more to do with the strong dollar than with Trump.