2017 is off to an interesting start, which isn’t unusual.  Who am I kidding?  This year has been downright bizarre.  There are mixed signals everywhere we look and it’s hard to know what’s important.  As we are approaching the summer months and travel begins to pick up, let’s take a moment to look ahead at the 2017 tourism forecast.

The Trump Slump

For the past couple of months we’ve been hearing about the “Trump Slump” for tourism.  It stems from the Trump administration’s attempts to ban travelers from 7 countries to the United States.  Banning these travelers will take a bite out of the $250 billion-a-year foreign tourism business and may discourage other foreigners from traveling this Summer.  Even though the ban is tied up in court, the message is clear – not everyone is welcome in the US.  Furthermore, according to Time Magazine, there is evidence of less search traffic for US tourism and CNBC has predicted a potential loss of $18 billion in tourism revenue.  Also, legal residents may stay home if they feel the inhospitable political climate.  What does that mean for your business?  Do you know your customer profile well enough to know if you’ll be affected?  While this is troubling, the ban may never be fully implemented.

Consumer Sentiment

2017 tourism forecast stats from University of MichiganA silver lining in 2017 is consumer sentiment.  According to University of Michigan’s Survey of consumers, consumer sentiment has improved 10.1% in April compared to last year.  In addition, the Consumer Economic Condition Index hit a high of 115.2, which is the highest level since 2000.  Tax breaks are also likely in the near future, which means more money for travel.

Our 2017 Tourism Forecast

Based on our research and industry experts we’ve spoken with, we are optimistic about 2017.  We know a lot of people in the industry who are investing in new capital and planning to be open for more of the year with special events in 2017.  Many indicators are pointing toward a year of moderate growth.  We can’t predict the future but it looks like it’s going to be a good year.