PRESS RELEASE – Poll: 4 of 5 Americans Say Int’l Tourism and National Security Can Coexist

Strong Majorities Equate Robust Inbound Travel with Healthy U.S. Economy

Washington—Huge majorities of Americans believe thriving international inbound travel is both compatible with sound national security and important to the domestic economy, according to a Morning Consult poll released Wednesday by the Visit U.S. Coalition.

Visit U.S., a broad-based coalition of American industry groups, formed in January for the purpose of urging the Trump administration to embrace the growth and job-creating power of international inbound tourism while maintaining its focus on robust homeland security.

The new survey of 1,985 registered voters reveals that overwhelming majorities of Americans—including right-of-center voters—support that approach.

“The message from the American people is clear: we can have strong security while welcoming lucrative, legitimate travel to the U.S.,” said Visit U.S. spokesman Amos Snead. “International dollars don’t just support jobs in the hospitality industry—these long-haul visitors have an underappreciated downstream impact. From Central Park to Park City to national parks, welcoming travelers to the United States is one way we as Americans show people from all over the world what is unique and great about America.”

Read the full report here.

Some of the poll’s most notable findings:

Voters support international tourism in America.

  • 66% of registered voters say they support international travelers visiting the U.S.

Support for tourism includes Trump voters.

  • 60 percent of Trump voters support international travelers to the U.S.
  • 58 percent of Trump voters say the U.S. should continue to welcome about the same or more visitors to the U.S.

There is overwhelming recognition the U.S. can have a strong travel industry and strong national security simultaneously.

Share of voters who agree with the following statements:

  • The U.S. can have a strong travel industry and strong national security at the same time (79% agree)
  • The U.S. can welcome international travelers and do so securely (78%)
  • International travelers visiting the U.S. do not pose a risk to national security if they are vetted and approved (65%)

Strong majorities recognize the positive impact international travelers have across economic entities, spanning the travel industry and beyond.

Share of voters who say international travelers visiting the U.S. have a positive impact on:

  • Tourism industry workers (76% positive impact) and businesses (73%)
  • The U.S. economy (73%) and their state or local economy (66%)
  • American small businesses (60%)

Similarly, voters say the decline in international travelers visiting the U.S. has a negative impact on key economic factors.

Voters were informed the U.S. share of global international travel has declined since 2015, and asked if this had a positive, negative or no impact on economic indicators. Share of voters who say the decline in the number of international travelers visiting the U.S. has a negative impact on:

  • Businesses that rely on tourism, such as restaurants and storefronts (58% negative impact)
  • Tourism businesses (59%) and workers (58%)
  • The U.S. economy (54%)

Voters find messages invoking American tradition and economic gain as compelling when discussing the need for more international travelers visiting the U.S.

The following messages are most effective with voters that the U.S. should encourage international travelers to visit:

  • “International travelers are some of this country’s best customers, spending billions in our stores, restaurants, hotels and attractions.” (58% convincing to voters; 40% find very or extremely convincing)
  • “Increasing inbound travel to the United States will not only support the American economy, but give the world a unique understanding of what makes America great.” (57% convincing to voters; 41% find very or extremely convincing)
  • “America is and has always been a welcoming country and travel is a huge part of our tradition and our economy.” (57% convincing to voters; 40% find very or extremely convincing)
  • “Declining international travel to the U.S. could result in a loss of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs for the U.S. economy. (53% convincing to voters; 49% find very or extremely convincing)