Donald Trump’s elevation to the Presidency is no doubt impacting the reputation of the United States abroad. Last week, a group of soccer supporters in Vancouver that regularly travel to away games in the US stated they would not organize trips south of the border (even to nearby Seattle or Portland) this season due to the “Muslim ban” of President Trump. Today, The Cranky Flier, perhaps the most insightful website about the aviation industry had an interesting piece on the ramifications for the nation in terms of foreign tourists.
Let’s extrapolate this to Florida. Our state more than most is heavily dependent on tourism from abroad to fuel our economy. Scheduled tours for Europeans help stimulate our economic health as does integration of Florida’s industry with Latin America’s – this includes the number of wealthy families from Latin America who take long weekends or vacation in Florida.
The atmosphere that President Trump has created and its interpretation abroad threatens Florida’s economy. But what will our leaders in this state, Republicans who appear ready to match in lockstep with Donald Trump do? Will Governor Scott, or Attorney General Bondi, both of whom hail from the newly-minted Trump wing of the GOP caution the administration privately while publicly reassuring foreigners that Florida remains hospitable personally and open for business? Will Republican legislators that have long developed individual power bases step up to the plate and reassure those abroad about Florida?
A dip in tourism over the next four years could be catastrophic for our state. Hopefully our leaders will see this reality and put our state’s health over partisan and political considerations.