Barrack Obama Presidency: any effects on travel?
We’ve heard about the economy, taxes, the war, change, and change from the Obama camp for the last several months, but now that he’s officially the President elect, inquiries are being made on the other issues still out there – like travel. Not much has really been said about anything regarding travel, obviously, so don’t really expect too drastic of changes. However, there has been some recent discussion. Here’s a roundup of news and ideas involving the Obama camp and the travel industry.
Obama to remove travel restrictions on Cuba? Recent rumors about Obama and Cuba state that the travel restrictions, along with the embargo on Cuba, will probably be removed under the Obama administration. The US seems to be the last country in the world supporting the embargo against Cuba – Jamaica, a country who’s tourism would suffer if Cuba’s travel ban was lifted, even supports an end to the embargo. I’ve predicted this for some time now because globalization makes the elimination of such archaic policies inevitable. The Cold War is over, we trade with many other communist nations (China??), and their our very close neighbor who could provide many benefits for Americans through trade and travel.
Obama more realistic travel security measures Easing travel restrictions to promote travel will be part of Obama’s change in philosophy to US tourism. He supports the idea of the right to travel, which will essentially make US security measures more reasonable and less cumbersome while maintaining safety. Issues like the national Real ID and invasive (even offensive) security regulations could be repealed, thus making US travel more attractive to everyone and boosting tourism revenue. This ties in with the following Obama factor.
US Tourism to increase from Obama’s popularity aka Obama Factor The pure presence of Obama – The Obama Factor – in the White House could lead to more travel by itself. In a recent poll of British citizens, 80% are more likely to visit the US under Obama. They claimed that they were put off by the Bush administration and his foreign policy, and this lowered their desire to travel to the US. As shown by Obama’s world tour during his campaign, Obama is wildly popular in Europe, so the Obama factor is definitely legit. So the superstardom of Obama, the implementation of a possible legislature to promote travel, coupled with a favorable exchange rate for European travelers, US tourism could see a much needed bump to help out the economy.
…..and Higher Airline rates Not everything will be peachy for budget travelers under the Obama presidency though. Obama’s support of unions will more than likely translate into higher costs for the airlines, and higher airfares for travelers. Very unfortunate, but expected. At the same time, however, fuel charges are dropping quickly so maybe the the net effect will remain unchanged and costs will stay where they are.
NTA to Pitch Obama on Tourism value The NTA which will be composed of representatives from every travel industry will be meeting with Obama fairly soon to discuss the state of the tourism industry. The NTA will obviously be pushing Obama for helpful policy to promote US tourism, and they’re expected to show initiatives to support tourism could be key in boosting the US economy in this recession. Whatever effects do resonate from Obama’s presidency, if any, are all speculation but it can be reasonable to assume as a whole I think tourism could grow over the next 8 years under Obama. Surely, though, Washington DC has already seen some tourism revenue increase almost exponentially with the upcoming inauguration, so hopefully this trend will continue.