Monday, May 8, 2017

Waiting out Trump - Jamaican Travel To USA in Decline

Travel Ban and Protectionism!

While at my sister’s Soup and Conversation night the debate turned to traveling to the USA. Several officials and individuals at soup night declared that the amount of Jamaicans traveling to the USA has declined and especially to a place like Florida (Kingston 21) because of increasing reports that more and more Jamaicans are being treated harshly especially at Miami Airport. Also there has been increasing reports of Jamaicans losing their visa on entry to the USA and deported back to Jamaica. It seems visa holders are not willing to risk it and are prepared to waiting out Trump thus keeping their high priced visa under wraps, after all they paid good money for it. In 2015 The US Embassy in Kingston confirmed that Jamaicans spent US$25 million (approximately J$3 billion) that year in application fees for visas. That is how much per year Jamaicans invest for a visa so the idea of paying that amount only to be treated like shit and your visa taken away does not sit well with some.

Florida “Kingston 21” is now seen as rude, unfriendly and a no go area. My cousin declared during the discussion that she will not be going through Miami anytime soon as that airport is off her list because of rude Cubans.

Jamaicans are among Miami's top 25 visitor and second from the Caribbean region but that have now declined to a trickle and Florida is feeling it. The problem here is that the usual hordes of Jamaicans invading Florida malls, spending MILLIONS of US$ to buy everything that is not nailed down has diminished to a trickle and Florida is losing money.

Officials of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) are now in the island making a destination push for the city located at the south-eastern tip of Florida that has been popular among Jamaicans for decades. “We're taking this opportunity to update the travel agents in Kingston to support the destination because Jamaica is a very important market for us,” Docal told the Jamaica Observer a few minutes before addressing the travel agents.

“Last year we had a little over 183,000 Jamaicans coming to Miami, and that's not based on people coming through the airport, because Miami is a hub, it's based on guests who have spent at least one night in a hotel in Greater Miami,” Docal said. The group is trying to assure Jamaicans that all is well but we all know that is all talk that have no bearing on reality because in Trump America you are treated like an abused dog so travel at your own risk.

It is not just Jamaicans who are staying clear, travel to the USA is on the decline. The entire USA tourist industry is in decline sharp decline since Trump started his purge. US tourism experiences a 'Trump slump’: Analysts estimate that President Trump has cost the US travel industry $185m in lost revenue in two months, with significant drop in flight searches and bookings. As tourists continue to steer clear of Donald Trump’s America, the US travel industry is bearing the brunt of his unpopular policies. European Tourism Interest In America Plummets 12% Following Travel Ban.

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