WASHINGTON D.C.: US travel and hospitality industry leaders have had their first face-to-face meeting with President Donald Trump, during which they are understood to have raised concerns about falling visitor numbers and the impact of the President’s travel ban.
More than a dozen travel industry CEOs, including Marriott Chief Arne Sorenson, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta, and Wyndham Worldwide CEO Geof Ballotti met with Trump at the US Travel Association’s first round table discussion since he took office 18 months ago.
“Our discussion with the President was simple: A strong flow of international business and leisure travellers into the US reduces the trade deficit and creates an outsize number of American jobs,” said US Travel chief Roger Dow in a statement.
Jonathan Grella, US Travel’s EVP of public affairs said: “There is a global international travel boom, and there is a huge opportunity to greatly expand upon the already strong economy.”
“We told them that we need a national strategy to work toward something along the lines of the previous administration’s goal to grow visitor numbers to a certain level by a certain year, but they didn’t commit to anything.”
Along with the need to ensure the country offers a welcoming message to international travellers, subjects discussed included the visa waiver programme, Brand USA’s reauthorization, and the need for infrastructure improvements nationwide.