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Trump slump? US tourism is down almost 4 percent

Protestors rally during a demonstration against the Muslim immigration ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 28, 2017 in New York City.
Protestors demonstrated at John F. Kennedy International Airport in January against President Trump’s executive order halting refugees and residents from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. –Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The number of international tourists visiting the United States dropped by nearly 4 percent in the first six months of 2017 over the same period last year, according to data released by the US National Travel and Tourism Office and the US Department of Commerce this week. The drop coincides with President Trump’s low international approval ratings.

Tourism experts point to the strength of the dollar as a factor for fewer international arrivals in 2017. Although there is no way to determine whether Trump’s policy of “America first,’’ travel bans, and border walls have also been a contributing factor, many in the travel industry continue to refer to the drop in tourism as the “Trump slump.’’

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“The latest government travel data is deeply concerning not just to our industry, but to anyone who cares about the economic well-being of the United States,’’ said Roger Dow, CEO and president of the US Travel Association. “Travel is our country’s number two export and supports more than 15 million Americans.’’

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