Seattle Tourism Industry Fears the Trump Slump

The Emerald City of Washington State has been quietly emerging as a major West Coast travel destination over the last few years thanks to innovative marketing and strategic positioning, but tourism officials are worried about a phenomenon they call “the Trump Slump.”

 

According to Travel Seattle, the official trade group of the tourism industry, 38.9 million visitors spent $2.2 billion in 2016, which benefited more than 74,000 local employees and their families. The number of day visitors grew by three percent on an annual basis, and the revenue realized by means of state and city taxes netted $718 million dollars.

 

Although the Seattle tourism industry is booming, industry leaders are concerned about the effect that certain policies enacted by the Trump administration could have on their business. The Trump Slump refers to the administration’s general attitude towards foreigners and the failed ban on Muslim travelers. Would-be foreign visitors are also experiencing longer lines and greater scrutiny at U.S. embassies and overseas, which are not granting as many tourist visas as they did during the Obama administration.

 

The immediate effects of the Trump Slump have not yet been quantified, but some business operators in the hospitality industry are concerned about protests at airports and the general sentiment by foreign visitors who vow to never return to the U.S. after being treated like suspected terrorists by customs and immigration officers at airports, seaports and land borders.

 

Even though international tourists only make up seven percent of total visitors in Seattle, they spend as much as 15 percent of the total revenue.

 

Travel to California Through Self Driving Car

California is one of the most popular travel destinations in the United States. While people from far distances often travel to California by either plane, train, or car, there will soon be a new way for people to get to California. According to a recent new article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4458768/Tesla-self-driving-cars-travel-California-NY.html), it will soon be possible to get to the state through the use of a self driving car.

 

According to Elon Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla, it will soon be possible to use Tesla’s self driving car to get from New York to California. The new self driving service is in use in some markets and is still being beta tested, but there are a lot of reports that state that the service will be in full swing by the end of the year. The company already has released a detail way for people to get across the country while having plenty of battery by using a number of different stops along the way.

 

Ever since the first generation of electric cars was released a few years ago, Tesla has been one of the most popular cars on the road. It is also a very popular option for investors. The stock has gone up a lot in value over the past few months and it is now the second most valuable car producers, based on market capitalization. The company is considered to have a lot of different growth areas as well as they continue to look into trucks and commercial vehicles.

 

The American West Coast is Ripe for Gastronomical Tourism

Tourists in the United States who are looking for the best cuisine they can taste during their visits should strongly consider staying in the West Coast. According to the 2017 list of Best New Chefs published by Food & Wine Magazine, more than half of the selected chefs are from California, Oregon and Washington.

 

Up until the late 20th century, New York, Miami and New Orleans routinely topped the lists of best chefs; however, that no longer seems to be the case. The West Coast has been quietly dominating the American gastronomical scene, and this is a trend that many tourists are noticing.

 

Some of the best restaurants in the United States are either located in the West Coast or are otherwise managed by West Coast chefs. One such restaurant is Han Oak in Portland, operated by a chef who trained in New York before moving back home to open a Korean eatery that specializes in noodles, dumplings and barbecues.

 

The abundance of fresh produce in California, Oregon and Washington is another reason why local chefs are either returning or choosing to stay in the West Coast. Such is the case of Kismet, a trendy restaurant in Los Angeles that features a Mediterranean menu. It so happens that California’s agriculture offers many of the fresh ingredients needed in Turkish, Greek and Italian recipes, and this is something that chefs can certainly appreciate.

 

Another restaurant attracting many tourists is Californios, located in San Francisco. This restaurant is dedicated to the fusion of Californian and Mexican cuisines, and the result is tastier than Tex-Mex.

 

West Coast Travel to and from Hawaii to get Cheaper

One of the most popular flights for tourists is from the west coast of the United States to Hawaii. For people that live anywhere in the country, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco are very common places for a layover. Unfortunately, travel to and from the west coast to Hawaii is often very expensive. While flying to Hawaii is not cheap, there is an airline today that is boasting incredibly low prices (http://www.cntraveler.com/story/flight-deal-hawaii-from-350-round-trip).

 

Virgin Airlines, which is already known for its great service compared to other major airlines, is now providing very low fares for people that are trying to go from the west coast to one of several different Hawaiian destinations. Virgin America is now offering round trip flights from Los Angeles to Maui and Honolulu for as low as $350. Those that are looking to travel to and from San Francisco and Seattle will also get great deals.

 

These prices that are offered by the airlines are less than half of what some competing airlines are offering today. Those that are looking to take a trip and would like to save money should consider booking soon. The company will be only offering these rates for summer travel. Once the current promotion is over, flights are likely to go back up to where they were in the past. Those that are looking to travel could either book the flights directly through the airline or take advantage of package deals through Expedia and other online travel booking websites available today.

 

Chinese Tourists Flock to the West Coast in Search of Nature

Oregon is one of the most pristine tourism destinations in the West Coast of the United States, and this happens to be what many Chinese tourists are looking for these days.

 

Disneyland, Las Vegas and San Francisco are still popular tourism spots for tourists arriving from China, but those who are returning for a second and even third visit are more interested in the sheer natural beauty of Oregon as well as its culinary offerings.

 

According to a recent article published in China Daily, officials in charge of the Oregon Tourism Commission have noticed an emerging trend among Chinese tourists in the sense that they are more attracted to clean water, fresh air, pristine views, fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood cuisine, and craft beers. One of the reasons behind this travel trend is that many cities in China are overly industrialized and have lost their natural beauty.

 

Now that Chinese tourists can be approved for a 10-year travel visa to visit the U.S., tourism officials in Oregon are excited about the opportunity to lure more visitors. At the Active America-China Summit, a tourism industry meeting that took place in Portland in April, attendees noted that the $226 million spent by Chinese tourists in 2016 could be increased with the right marketing approach.

 

The most popular nature attraction for Chinese visitors is the Crater Lake National Park. These tourists are also very interested in visiting craft breweries and catching Portland Trailblazer when teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers or Boston Celtics visit.

 

Photographer Begins Road Trip to Capture Abandoned Drive-Ins

Lindsey Rickert is a photographer passionate about drive-in movie theaters. While she has fond memories of her first viewing at age seven or eight, a chance encounter in Oregon rekindled her interest in those venues right as their operations have continued to diminish. Currently, only 324 drive-ins are operational; a ghost of a movie-going experience that used to number in excess of 4,000 locations.

 

After encountering Oregon’s abandoned 99W drive-in, Rickert decided to plan a road trip. Her goal: to photograph as many drive-ins in the country as possible. Rickert’s portfolio for this adventure covered 28 different theaters, some of which are still operational.

 

Rickert began planning her route by combining Google and Flickr to find websites dedicated to drive-ins. She then laid out a massive map and started pushing thumbtacks into every point of interest until a route began to manifest. After marking the abandoned sites, Rickert planned out the best path to travel between abandoned and active sites-only one site was discovered demolished.

 

When asked about her favorite locales, Rickert was awestruck by an abandoned theater in Nevada, right as a heavy storm began to rage. After the weather cleared, Rickert was able to capture a beautiful sunset rainbow against the theater’s projection wall.

 

When asked about why some people are nostalgic for something that many have never experienced, Rickert likened drive-ins as a metaphor for the transition from analog to digital. Even if they are kept operational, drive-ins are mostly seen as relics of a previous era.

 

Marina Del Rey and Coronado Island Stand Out in Latest Tourism Reports

Two of the most attractive travel destinations in the West Coast of the United States are seeing a greater number of visitors and increased revenue. Coronado Island and Marina Del Rey are two of the prettiest jewels of Southern California, and the bulk of their economic activity revolves around tourism.

 

A market research study conducted by CBRE Hotels indicates that Coronado and Marina Del Rey continue to capture a nice share of the West Coast tourism market. In the case of Marina Del Rey, located near Los Angeles, the economic activity in 2016 is estimated to have produced more than $430 million; this represents an increase of more than 70 percent since 2012.

 

In Coronado Island, tourism has extended beyond visitors from nearby San Diego who are visit for just one day. The new focus is on marketing to foreign visitors, particularly those who arrive in San Diego for major conventions but would like to stay at a nicer location.

 

Marina Del Rey expects to complete various enhancement projects in 2017 and 2018. A new dock was installed at Fisherman’s Village while a splash park is expected to be completed in time for summer. The Yvonne Burke Park will have a new fitness course and Pier 44 will feature new boat slips this year. In 2018, two new hotels will begin construction: the Residence Inn and Courtyard Marriott.

 

The Coronado Tourism Improvement District is currently engaged in discussion about a project that will beautify the bridge that connects the island with San Diego as well as the docks.

 

 

California Will Fight Trump in the Name of Tourism

Many people who travel to the West Coast of the United States specifically seek to visit California, a state that rivals Florida in terms of tourism. According to a recent article published in East County Magazine of San Diego, tourism in the Golden State is being negatively impacted by some of the Executive Orders being signed by United States President Donald Trump, and the State Attorney General is determined to fight in this regard.

 

Many communities in California intend to keep their status as “sanctuary cities,” which means that they do not cooperate with immigration enforcement agents seeking to arrest undocumented immigrants for deportation and removal. The Golden State as a whole is a sort of sanctuary jurisdiction for migrant families, and this is one of the reasons why the state has resisted the Muslim travel ban; in other words, California is trying to protect its image as a place that welcomes foreigners, and that includes tourists.

 

Another Trump order that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra intends to fight is related to offshore drilling. Citing oil spills off Santa Barbara in 1969 and 2015, the Attorney General made a formal announcement that explained he is ready to protect tourism by resisting any drilling efforts off the California coast.

 

Tourists these days are well informed about environmental issues and tend to stay away from beaches known to be affected by the pollution caused by oil drilling, which is something that the California tourism is not willing to accept without a fight.

 

 

Traveling To The West Coast May Be A Wet And Politically Charged Adventure

A late-season Pacific storm has Northern California in its crosshairs. Rain and damaging winds in Northern California seem to be the norm in April even though March was relatively dry. After four years of no rain, California is wet again, and the spectacular wildflower displays in central and southern California are proof that the drought is over. But California always has some sort of challenge to face, or goal to accomplish, whether it is the weather, environmental safety, water conservation or keeping Trump and his policies out of the state. California is a notoriously blue state. The Trump victory was an agonizing defeat for Californians. But they are not giving up the fight to one-up Trump on everything social and political. The California legislature just passed the largest gas tax increase ever. The gas tax increase is projected to raise more than $52 billion over the next ten years.

 

 

Instead of just talking about the crumbling infrastructure, California is doing something about the deteriorating bridges, roads and public transit systems. Falling oil prices, increase fuel efficiency and the popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles in the state has impacted tax revenue. The estimated shortfall in bridge and road repair money is $135 billion, and the 12-cent per gallon gas tax increase will plug the money drain a little. The state is also putting new taxes on diesel fuel, increasing registration fees, and adding a $100 annual fee on electric cars. California is the 18th state to increase gas taxes over the last four years. The Trump administration is talking about funding infrastructure initiatives, but Governor Jerry Brown is actually doing something about the issue. California will still need federal funds to address all the infrastructure challenges in the state, but the gas increase is a very important first step.

 

 

People traveling to California, and to other West Coast states, should pay attention to the weather patterns that seem to be wetter rather than dry this spring. Visitors should also be aware that the price of gas will make the trip to the West Coast more expensive. But in spite of the weather and politics, there is nothing like a trip to California in spring and early summer.

Travel Ban Could Impact California Tourism

While the new administration has made a lot of changes already, one of the most discussed is the travel ban. The new administration led by President Donald Trump has already proposed two different travel bans, which would temporarily prohibit people from six different Middle Eastern countries to enter the United States. While this issue has been discussed a lot due to its political impact, a recent news (http://www.presstelegram.com/lifestyle/20170326/travel-ban-proposals-making-california-tourism-industry-nervous) article has pointed out that it could have a big impact on the US economy as well.

 

The State of California is the most populated state in the United States and on a standalone basis would have one of the biggest economies in the world. While California has a strong economy in a variety of industries, it does have a big travel industry that relies on people coming in from all over the world. Overall, California brings in more than 17 million business and recreational travelers from all over the world.

 

While many of these travelers come from Europe, Asia, and Australia, there is still a big amount that comes from the Middle East. In fact, California has estimated that it could lose up to one million visitors in just the first three years of the new travel ban. This could have a very notable impact on the travel economy as it could easily eliminate close to $1 billion in travel-related revenue. International travelers tend to spend more money than domestic travelers on hotels, dining, and additional purchases. It has been estimated that the average foreign visitor spends $1400 in the state per visit, compared to $400 for a domestic visitor.

 

The fallout from this lost revenue could be pretty significant in California. Today, more than one million people in California work for hotels, airlines, and other tourism-focused companies. Some of these people even work for companies that target entertaining and hosting people from the banned countries. If the travel ban is ever fully approved and made into law, it could easily lead to a loss of jobs. Furthermore, this will lead to a loss of tax revenue, which could offset the current balanced budget in the state.