According to The Wall Street Journal, Aspen Skiing Co. CEO, Mike Kaplan, blames President Donald Trump for the 30% decrease in Mexican visitors throughout the 2016/17 ski season compared to 2015/16. Sadly, bookings for the 2017/18 season aren’t looking much better than the last. He referred to the actions of Trump as being bad for business and that he needs to stop.
“Last year visitation to Aspen by Mexicans dropped 30 percent compared with the 2015-16 ski season. Bookings for 2017-18 aren’t looking much better. There are multiple reasons, but the xenophobia radiating from the Oval Office ranks at the top,” stated Aspen Skiing Co. CEO, Mike Kaplan.
Tourism plays a key roll in the success of Aspen Skiing Co., which is why Mike Kaplan is so adamant to discuss the topic. The New York Times compiled information from the U.S. Department of Commerce which revealed a drop of nearly 700,000 international visitors to the United States in the first quarter of 2017, compared to that of 2016. The biggest of which was a 10.1% drop in European visitors, along with a 7.1% drop in Mexican visitors.
“While his defenders will argue Mr. Trump has only been singling out illegal aliens, the affluent Mexicans who would normally visit Aspen seem to disagree. If President Trump is as concerned with the U.S. trade deficit as he says, he should recognize that tourism to the U.S. is a type of export to other countries. Foreign visitors come here and spend their money. The U.S. destinations they visit cannot be ‘off-shored’ or moved to Mexico,” stated Kaplan.
Aspen has seen the biggest drop in visitors from Mexico, but Kaplan said if the negative messages continue to come from the White House, then other international tourists will take their business elsewhere as well. The Vail Daily reached out to Kaplan on Thursday and learned that he submitted the column because the season is near and the uncertainty remains.
“The uncertainty around immigration and foreign travel continues to linger. We thought appealing to Trump on business grounds might resonate with him and the administration,” stated Kaplan when speaking with the Vail Daily on Thursday.