NYC & Company, New York's travel marketing agency, has
come out in harsh opposition to the Trump administration's travel ban, saying
that the organization "will continue to resist impediments to
President Trump on Jan. 27 ordered a 90-day travel ban from
seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Syria), but the
ban was halted by a federal judge on Feb. 4. The Trump administration is
appealing the judge's ruling.
"We've worked so hard over the last however many years
to make sure that the United States is seen as welcoming," said Fred
Dixon, NYC & Company's president and CEO. "Great progress had been
made and now we are very concerned that all of that is in jeopardy."
Dixon said that while NYC & Company does not yet have
any numbers that show a slump in inbound tourism in response to Trump's ban,
there are some early indicators of negative consequences.
For one, he pointed to a New York Times article indicating that New York lost a bid to host the World Federation of Tourist
Guide Associations in 2019 due to the ban.
Dixon also said that a popular German lifestyle magazine (he
did not provide the name) had made a decision not to run any features this year
about United States in defiance of the ban, and also referred to an opinion
piece in the Toronto Star
encouraging Canadians to boycott travel to the U.S.
Indications such as these -- on top of the challenge that a
strong U.S. dollar has made the United States a harder sell for international
travelers -- have Dixon concerned.
Consequently, the destination marketing organization has
changed its campaign plans for 2017 in order to clearly communicate the message
that "All are welcome." NYC & Company posted that message on its
last week. Further, Dixon said that the organization will communicate the
message via billboard ads in other countries.
"I don't think we have a choice," said Dixon. "It
wasn't our plan this year to have this messaging." But following the Trump
ban and the fallout from it, "we are shifting all our messaging and
assets," he added.
According to Dixon, New York city officials are in full
support of NYC & Company's messaging.
While NYC & Company continues to
do damage control, it will investigate ways to communicate concerns to the
Trump administration about how policies such as the travel ban can hurt