By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s tourism economy is expected to be hit by the “Trump Slump.”

That’s what some are calling international visitors afraid to come to the U.S. because of the president’s immigration policies.

Tourism experts are predicting 4 million fewer foreign visitors to the U.S. this year with a loss of more than $7 billion dollars. In 2015, the Mall of America alone reported more than 2 million separate international visits.

Those visitors spend far more than those from the U.S. — Explore Minnesota says foreign tourists spend an average of $2,000 per trip, while U.S. tourists average $300 dollars per trip.

Its not hard to see the effort the Mall of America puts into attracting foreign travelers. The mall’s website features guides in seven languages, and its Facebook page features clips of foreign visitors.

Excluding Canada, China is second for having the most tourist visits to Minnesota. But the air travel website Hopper reports airfare searches to the U.S. from China have dropped 46 percent — a drop considered an indicator of future bookings. John Edman the Director of Explore Minnesota said,

“We have seen a lot of chatter, a lot of questions about things in the current political situation,” Explore Minnesota director John Edman said.

Edman says it’s too early to have numbers for international travel to Minnesota since the election, but he says it’s critical that those in the tourism industry communicate clearly about key issues like visas.

Stories of even U.S. citizens like boxing legend Muhammad Ali’s son, Muhammed Ali Jr., being detained twice at U.S. airports are having an impact. Immigration attorney Esteban Rivera said,

“People are now reluctant to travel to the U.S., and prefer to travel to somewhere else because of the treatment they are receiving at customs,” immigration attorney Esteban Rivera said.

Comments (6)
  1. Jeff Mannino says:

    Who are the tourism experts?Names of those cited and their position please. All i see is a quote from a immigrant lawyer who is armed with opinion or has anecdotal evidence at best.

  2. Hilarious! WCCO is now boldly calling our President of the United States silly names. Trump Slump. Got any more 1st grade stupid bullying rhymes, WCCO? The only people who won’t come to the United States are the ones Trump bans due to being a security threat to the United States. So go eat your excrement sandwich, liberals.

  3. Ben Boniff says:

    Beyond B^S in typical fake news style.
    Trump may not have all right but on fake news he’s hit the GrandSlam

  4. These fake tourists who are scared to come to the USA can go to places with frequent terrorist attacks instead. They can get their photo in front of the Eiffel tower with a new fence around it to make it harder for terrorists.

    MN isn’t really an international tourism destination anyway.

  5. Germany had just carried out raids on radical muslim terror spots in Germany. The same people amy, al, and keith want to bring here.
    With the super bowl coming to Mpls and with the MOA what becomes top terrorist targets?
    Bias news! You can not make this stuff up fast enough.
    Thank you President Trump for trying in a country and media full of ….

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