The US tourism industry has struggled to survive amid a global recession.
But as the country continues to grow, the industry is facing some of its biggest challenges in a country with the highest number of foreign visitors in the world.
The International Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is warning that tourism will lose its edge in the coming decades and is calling for more investment in the country.
Its head of tourism, David Tuckerman, said the US tourism sector is facing many challenges.
“In the US, tourism has grown and it’s had some successes, but in the last few years, particularly in the tourism sector, there’s been a very rapid decline,” he said.
“We’re seeing an erosion of the industry as we continue to see economic difficulties in the economy, the economic climate is challenging and we have an ageing population and that’s the key.”
This is why IATO is so concerned about our tourism sector.
“Tuckerman said the country is in an unsustainable position.”
There’s an incredible opportunity for the US to build on the successes we have had in the past, but the challenges are enormous.
“If we can’t attract new visitors and stay the course as a nation, then that’s going to be very difficult to do,” he added.
The IATP says that the number of international visitors to the US has dropped by almost half in the first three quarters of 2018.
But it says that number is likely to increase in the following quarters as a result of the economic slowdown.
Its chief executive officer John Collins said it is a problem that the US is having to overcome.
“The country is very different to the rest of the world,” he told The Irish Sun.
“For example, we are very small compared to Europe.
We have very high wages, high taxes and high regulation.”
It’s very hard to attract people in.
It’s very difficult for companies to get the people they need to invest in the US.
“I think the US can build on that and get back to being the place that is attracting new visitors.”
But in the meantime, the US needs to find a way to manage its growth and get it back on track.
“Mr Collins said that the country’s government needs to take action and make a change to help attract new foreign visitors.
Tuckederman said he expects the government to take a series of actions to boost tourism in the next few years.”
A lot of it is being done by the federal government,” he explained.”
So, we’ll see some announcements and we’re hoping for some more action in the second half of next year, which is a good time to be at the WorldTour, which will be the first one to be launched in the new year.”IATP chief executive David Tinkerman.
Image copyright APThe ICTO has also called on the government and industry to take steps to help ease the transition to a new era.”
Our main concern is that the American tourist industry is in a very vulnerable position because the economy is very, very hard on both sides of the border,” Mr Collins said.
He said that while the tourism industry will continue to lose some ground, there are signs that the recovery is being sustained.”
At the end of the day, the country will need to be more flexible,” he continued.”
What we’re seeing is the US economy is doing very well, but it’s not growing fast enough to attract more people.
“To get the US back to its former level of growth, the government needs more action from the US Government.”IATA’s Collins said the IATC was working with the US Tourism Board and other stakeholders to improve the US’ tourism profile and support tourism.
“Some of the things we’re doing include strengthening the US visa process, improving the information on our website and making sure that people who are visiting the US are being properly accounted for,” he stated.
“Another area where we’re looking at is making sure we are supporting the growth of the US as a global destination.”
The IATA is urging the US government to “get back to the top” of the tourism market and make the most of its unique culture.
“Many of the key elements that make the US unique are being lost,” Mr Tuckermere added.
“That’s not to say that the tourists are going to come to the United States; it’s that they’re going to have to make the choice between the quality of their experience in the States and in the rest the world.”
The US is the largest source of foreign tourists in the OECD, and more than half of its foreign visitors come from outside the US on their return to the country, according to the ICTP.
However, the company warns that the United State is also struggling to attract new tourism.
It said the number the country was attracting from overseas fell from 5.9 million to 4.9million between 2015 and 2017