In an effort to secure the U.S. borders, the President has attempted to ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, and is meanwhile quietly instituting “extreme vetting” of visitors from other nations—asking them to turn over their phones, social media passwords and financial records. Even U.S. citizens are experiencing more scrutiny when they attempt to return to their home country.
America may be safer today than it was three months ago, but at what cost? One predictable consequence of increased border vigilance has been a drop in tourism to the U.S., not just from the nations listed in the travel ban, but China (down 40% this year) Ireland and New Zealand (35%), and reportedly also from Mexico, Canada and the European Union. In all, Tourism Economics has estimated that 4.3 million fewer people will visit the U.S. this year, resulting in $7.4 billion of lost tourist revenue. Next year, if the trend continues, the U.S. economy could experience a 6.3 million drop in tourists and a $10.8 billion reduction in tourist revenue.
About the Author: Bob Veres has been a commentator, author and consultant in the financial services industry for more than 20 years. Over his 20-year career in the financial services world, Mr. Veres has worked as editor of Financial Planning magazine; as a contributing editor to the Journal of Financial Planning; as a columnist and editor-at-large of Dow Jones Investment Advisor magazine; and as editor of Morningstar’s advisor web site: MorningstarAdvisor.com.
Mr. Veres has been named one of the most influential people in the financial planning profession by Investment Advisor magazine and Financial Planning magazine, was granted the NAPFA Special Achievement Award by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, and most recently the Heart of Financial Planning Distinguished Service Award from the Denver-based Financial Planning Association.