I love traveling to the United States for so many reasons. The huge size and breadth of the country; its numerous spectacular world-class destinations; the varied landscapes, cultures and cities; the ease of access and transport (most places in the US can be visited by us from Canada for a long weekend or so); and the location right next to my home country. All these things help make it an incredible tourist mecca.
But the Trump Presidency (and some of his policies, like the recent “travel ban“) gives us second thoughts about spending too many vacation dollars there for the next four years. Am I suggesting entirely boycotting the United States as a tourist? No — I will certainly visit at least once or twice within the next four or so years. I absolutely love the country, its people, and its core values. But, with the new state of political disorder, leadership drought, and wayward immigration/border policies, as well as the disrespect against outsiders expressed outwardly from the President’s inner circle and his supporters, I feel my money would be better spent in a country more welcoming to foreigners.
I’m not even Muslim. But I’m a human being as well, one who loves traveling internationally, and I feel the pain of the people who can now no longer enter a country they love because of their faith or country they were born in. A thought came to me today, on the eve of the President’s “travel ban“: If Muslims from certain countries (or Muslims in general) are no longer welcome or allowed in the US, and certain people from certain arbitrarily-chosen countries can no longer enter the US based on nothing but randomly executed executive orders based on preconceived notions, how can I feel right to do so?
If the United States electorate elects a man so disdainful of the rest of the world and prefers to close its borders to so many, perhaps travelers worldwide looking for a place to spend their hard-earned money should revisit the idea of a trip to the United States at this time. At least until Americans find a way to vote such a leader out, or at least convince him to change his perspective on how he deals with humanity in general.
In the wake of the Trump Era in America, I’m certainly going to try visiting more Canadian destinations that we haven’t yet been to together (think: Kelowna and the Okanagan, Quebec City, Halifax and the Atlantic coast). I’m sure many world travelers will feel the same and spend more money elsewhere.
Although President Donald might have his fair share of core supporters in the United States (at least at this time, one week after his inauguration), he will be hard-pressed to find many fans outside the U.S. After one week, fear of what his administration will do is quite palpable, it will not only be certain predominantly-Muslim countries that will be not be entering the US anytime soon. Travel to the US may drop and I predict that over the next four years this effect will be quite noticeable. Hostility towards the international community will not make you many friends around the world.
One thing I’m fairly confident of is that Russian pleasure-seeking travelers to the US will increase quite significantly, as will newly-friendly diplomats and plutocrats, as Trump cozies up to the Putin dictatorship. (If you’re not already aware, please read about how Donald Trump’s buddy Putin got started in the business of leading a country. War criminal is a term thrown around often but somehow it fits.) Meanwhile, my proposed second trip to Washington DC has been postponed pending a more humane, adult-led atmosphere. Stay tuned.
♠ Rob, LetsGetAway.ca