American Marketer

Travel and hospitality

US travelers opt to stay stateside due to geopolitical disruptors: Virtuoso poll

March 28, 2017

Image courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue


High-end hospitality network Virtuoso conducted a flash poll among discerning United States-based members that found travelers actively avoiding certain international destinations.

According to Virtuoso's poll, U.S. members’ clients are avoiding destinations, specific countries and regions due to perceived global threats. Virtuoso has captured this sentiment through the use of the term VUCA, standing for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, to describe travel disruptors related to geopolitical situations.

Changing course
In its poll Virtuoso found that clients’ travel decisions have been swayed by U.S. President Trump’s Presidential Executive Order that bars entry to the U.S. from seven countries. Although the travel ban is not currently in effect, travelers are worried about the executive order’s implications.

Ten percent of U.S.-based advisors said in the poll that their clients are concerned over anti-American sentiment. The worry has resulted in changed travel plans.

U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady, Melania

But, 40 percent say clients are avoiding certain locations due to terrorism concerns. This includes destinations in the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Turkey and Egypt top the list.

Instead, affluent travelers are staying stateside, preferring to travel within the U.S. and to destinations perceived as safer such as Japan, Canada and New Zealand.

Virtuoso also found that 42 percent of its affiliated travel advisors say their international clients are forgoing trips to the U.S. due to opposition to current foreign policy under the Trump administration and worries of being able to obtain necessary visas (see story).

Instead of booking trips to the U.S., these travelers are looking toward Italy, Australia and the United Kingdom as alternatives.

A majority of Virtuoso’s advisors expect the U.S. travel slowdown to last three to six months.