According to new data, fewer and fewer Canadians are looking to take a bite out of the Big Apple in 2017. It’s not like the Apple was covered in pesticides or anything… unless you consider the Trump presidency a toxic substance, which metaphorically speaking, may not be completely inaccurate.
“We began to notice a change in consumer sentiment in February, right after the travel bans were first announced, and the issue really was about the uncertainty around how welcoming the United States was going to be going forward,” said Fred Dixon, the CEO of NYC & Company, which does destination marketing for New York City.
Industry insiders are calling this dip in tourism the “Trump Slump.” Turns out, the President’s actions — like implementing a predominantly Muslim-country travel ban and hiking the tariff on Canadian-imported lumber — just don’t sit well with Canadians (and people all over the world, for that matter).
Dixon noted that this is a “perception problem,” and that places like New York are still welcoming travellers for both business and pleasure with open arms.
With nearly 61 million people visiting the country last year, which generated over $40 billion USD in spending, Dixon explained that tourism in the U.S. is a big industry. Canadian getaways to U.S. hotspots like New York, LA, Chicago and Miami have a serious impact on the country’s economy, and when people choose to book elsewhere, it hurts everyone.
“The prediction is, at the moment, that the U.S. could fall by about three per cent of overall international arrivals this year,” said Dixon, noting that New York and its boroughs are estimated to see just a two per cent fall, which sounds insignificant, but actually equates to a loss of millions of dollars in tourism, annually.
However, there’s never been a better time to visit New York. Sure, the exchange rate isn’t great, but new hotel properties in the city are offering deeply discounted introductory rates to help ease the discrepancy in the dollar. “You can actually find a room at any budget in all five boroughs,” explained Dixon.
The 25th anniversary of Restaurant Week is also coming up this summer. Over 400 of the city’s top eateries will host menus at a fixed price, so visitors can try eating at places that might otherwise be out of budget. A two-for-one offer on Broadway tickets will also be reinstated this summer.
Scarf down a delicious three-course meal and then watch Wicked? Maybe next year.