Apr. 18th, 2017

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"My gut tells me ... there are people who are upset by them and are interested in sending a message," said Jonathan Grella, spokesman for the U.S. Travel Association, which represents hotels and tourist attractions. And it can take a long time to change negative attitudes about traveling, he said.

"We had to scratch and claw to make ourselves whole after 9/11, and suffered through a lost decade," he said. "If not handled properly, we could find ourselves in a hole like that which is deeper than it needs to be."


Digby, as always, is a powerful and articulate voice on US politics. In this article, she talks about the damage that Trump is doing to tourism in the US and talks about the idea that foreign travelers are in a sense voting with their dollars to avoid the US. But I think that misses another side of the issue, which is about the systemic costing of error from the part of the company to the customer, which is what culminated in the United WWE event.

Anyone who travels knows that the vast majority of travel and hospitality corporations require either the purchase of insurance or the acceptance of significant penalties for travelers who arrive late or suffer delays. Much like the overbooking strategy, they are designed in order to offset as much liability as possible while still being able to provide tertiary discount business. With that in mind, it leads to the kind of situations in which the customer is essentially the only person who is forced to be accountable for the actions of the corporation that is providing service.

Because of this, people have changed their travel patterns and have grumbled but accepted the extra fees and charges that are imposed. But they have also become keenly aware of the long string of potential issues that can absolve the company from refunding payment as being outside of their purview. One of those are the potential of being detained at the border and/or refused entry. In many cases, when booking a vacation, people have booked time or date sensitive events, often of significant value, for which being detained or refused entry offers no way to recoup the loss.

The exodus of risk from the corporation to the consumer has forced consumers to look for certainty as a priority, especially when a vacation can quickly represent the investment of thousands of dollars. Trump's empowerment of the TSA and Border Agencies to detain and refuse entity with zero consequences for misuse has tore that certainty away. So while there is certainly a moral case to seek other options than the US, I suspect that the practical assessment of the risk is just as or more significant. 


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