Two major tour operators on Thursday withdrew their business
from Trump International Hotels because of Donald Trump’s comments about
Mexican immigrants that were uttered during his presidential candidacy
announcement in June.
Pleasant Holidays said it would stop packaging three Trump
properties in Honolulu, Las Vegas and Panama. And Apple Vacations said that it
is moving its 2015 Global Apple Gala out of Trump International Hotel &
Tower in Chicago to protest Trump’s remarks.
During his candidacy speech, Trump said, “When Mexico sends
its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people that have
lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're
rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
All current bookings for the three Trump hotels will be
honored, Pleasant Holidays said. A sales suspension will continue until
Pleasant Holidays “receives greater clarity on statements by Donald Trump about
Mexican immigrants,” said the tour operator.
In a statement three days ago, Trump said, “I am proud to
say that I know many hard-working Mexicans — many of them are working for and
However, Trump hasn’t walked back his comments on illegal
immigrants from Mexico, saying that, “The Mexican government is forcing their
most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases,
criminals, drug dealers, rapists.”
Speaking about his company’s decision to change the venue
for its gala, Apple Vacations President Tim Mullen said in a letter to travel
agents dated July 8, “This change is compelled by the various highly publicized
comments made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump disparaging
Mexico and immigrants to the U.S.”
As a key Mexico-bound tour operator, Apple Vacations maintains
close ties to the country’s government and tourism officials.
“We have heard loud and clear from many prospective
attendees about their opposition to attending the event at any Trump-branded
property,” Mullen wrote, adding, “Mr. Trump’s expressed views are certainly
sharply at odds with our own views at Apple Vacations, as we have a deep
appreciation for the work ethic and social values of Mexicans living in the
Unites States and abroad.”
Mullen’s letter was written on the same day that the
Professional Golfers Association (PGA) pulled its 2015 Grand Slam of Golf out
of the Trump National Golf Club in Los Angeles for the same reason.
The PGA’s move could prove to be an especially costly blow
to Trump’s hospitality enterprises because in the past decade he has invested
heavily in golf resorts around the globe.
Trump’s investments in high-end courses and resorts come at
a time when the popularity of golf as a participant sport has been waning but
its popularity as a spectator sport has been growing. Trump has aggressively
leveraged his relationship with the PGA to market his high-end golf courses and
resorts to amateur golfers around the world.
This report was updated on Thursday night with news that Pleasant Holidays would stop selling Trump International Hotels.