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By Miriam Raftery

April 16, 2017 (San Diego) – The U.S. is poised to lose $7.4 billion in lost tourism dollars this year and $10.9 billion next year due to President Donald Trump’s travel ban and other policies making travelers feel unwelcome in the U.S., Tourism Economics estimates, the Washington Post reports.  

Those impacts are already occurring – and San Diego could be the most hard-hit city in the nation when coupled with other Trump policies targeting immigrants, Forbes predicts.

The Washington Post, in an April 14th article, reports that major hotel chains, airlines and travel booking services are reporting huge drop-offs in travel bookings to the U.S. from every country in the world, except Russia. 

Marriott reports a 30 percent drop in bookings from the Middle East and a 15 percent fall in bookings from Mexico.   Hopper, a travel-booking app, says demand for flights to the U.S. even from allies such as Ireland and New Zealand are down 35 percent. 

Border cities are also hard hit, losing border crossing traffic on the ground from people who formerly came to the U.S. to shop or visit. 

Forbes reported in January that Trump’s mass deportation of immigrants including undocumented workers would put San Diego “directly in the crosshairs” of the President, adding, “San Diego could well be ground zero.  From construction to tourism to hospitality, industry and labor in the city is fueled in large measure by a group of people who Trump derides as `criminals,’ ‘rapists’ or ‘bad hombres,’“ Forbes reports.

The esteemed business publication concludes, “San Diego’s economy would undoubtedly suffer a massive, sudden blow” when Trump begins deporting mass numbers of undocumented immigrant workers as he has pledged to do.

Forbes spoke with both employees and major employers in San Diego in fields ranging from agriculture to hotels to construction, under condition of anonymity. They found workers fearful of being deported and employers who admitted that a large portion of their workers are likely undocumented people with forged paperwork. 

Statewide, an estimated 6.3% of California’s population is undocumented, so widespread deportations could have a ripple effect across the state, one reason why many legislators in California are touting sanctuary city or state status to try and shield undocumented workers and their families from being forced to leave the U.S.

Nationwide, the Center for American Progress conducted a study which predicted that if Trump were to carry out his campaign promise to remove all 11 million undocumented immigrants, an admittedly daunting task, that would reduce the nation’s gross domestic product by a whopping $4.7 trillion dollars a year.

At a time when the President Is wielding a budget axe to slash or eliminate many programs popular with the public, from Social Security to public education, healthcare, arts and public television, the consequences of Trump’s travel ban and deportation policies may ultimately harm many voters who supported him in 2016.

Five major polls conducted this month have found that the majority of Americans polled now disapprove of Trump’s actions as president, putting his supporters in the minority – dissent that could deepen as the huge economic impacts of his anti-immigrant and anti-tourism policies hit home in cities and town across the nation, particularly border cities such as San Diego that depend on cross-border traffic, foreign workers and tourism dollars to thrive.


Article On Point, Comment Disappointing

Risby's right to a point of view is unquestioned. But this comment is so replete with errors that even a quick skim of the original piece suggests that the rant may have been aimed at a different article altogether. Whatever point Risby had in mind is immediately and hopelessly lost in the slosh of non sequiturs. As was any chance for informative dialogue. Instead of vacuous attacks, why not use ECM as a forum for a genuine exchange of ideas?

Help us out

Help us out D S and please share the National News Sources you get your information from so we can be better informed. Thanks much!

Isn't this interesting...

Notwithstanding that this article has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with San Diego or San Diego East County, the fact is that Mr. Trump has been in office for a whole 87 days and all of these Armageddon-like things are supposed to happen? Did you publish a similar article about Mr. Obama? This whole article comes off as a typical Miriam Raftery opinion piece disguised as news (typical ECM fare). A lot of the article is not sourced and the information comes from the same folks who said Hillary Clinton was going to take the White House by a landslide. This "article" just shows that ECM is in a parallel universe and has a real agenda supporting the San Diego Democratic Party.....the same people who endorsed and supported the great San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. I'm not a big supporter of Mr. Trump, but at least we are starting to get back on the right road, after so many people in the waning days of Mr. Obama said that the United States under Obama was going in the wrong direction. There is a reason why Mrs. Clinton got was a rejection of 8 years of Barack Obama. I have to say the only reason I come to read anything East County Magazine is to get a good laugh at the predictable "writing" disguised as "credible reporting." P.S. By the way, I spoke to a good friend of mine at 10News. They haven't had "media partners" in 3 or 4 years and have never heard of "East County Magazine." You should really check with them whether you are a "news partner" or not before you get hit with a cease and desist order from calling yourself a "media partner.". And probably not.

What are you smoking, Risby?

How can you possibly think the article has nothing to do with San Diego or East County?  Forbes, NOT a lefty site, says San Diego could be the worst impacted by these policies.  I didn't quote a single partisan or liberal source in this story, only business publications and tourism sources.

Obviously a lot of people in East County do work in tourism  It's the core of Julian's economy,  and Borrego, as well as tribal casinos and hotels, golf courses, etc. Others who live in East County work at the Zoo, Sea World or other tourism sites. East County also has a high population of immigrants impacted by travel restrictions and the wall.  Your stereotype seems to suggest all East County people are just stupid hicks out in the rural areas not affected by tourism, immigrants, etc.  Total ignorance.

This is plainly not an opinion piece. It is news. Singling me out by name violates our site rules, too, which prohibit personal attacks.  I have no agenda to support any party. We had plenty of critical coverage of Obama,  Filner, and other Democrats,  as well as positive coverage of some Republicans locally such as Supervisor Jacob, local mayors and councilmembers on key initiatives, to name a few.  As for Filner, our radio show was among the very first media to interview a witness who confirmed long-standing issues with Filner's harassment of women.  So stop trying to smear our coverage. 

We were invited to be a news partner with 10 News by J.W. August, their esteemed long-time award-winning news director.  I did send an email to the new News Director there and inquired whether there has been a change in this arrangement.  If there has, we were never informed.

As for the quality of our journalism, I believe this quote from J.W.August, then news director at 10 News, speaks for itself: 

“I believe in investigative journalism, but it’s under attack right now...When corporations are only interested in the bottom line, they’re going to cut investigative journalism…The good news is the rise of online nonprofit journalism organizations like East County Magazine.” – J.W. August,  News Director, Channel 10 News

UPDATE APRIL 21:  I just checked with the new News Director at 10 News. She confirmed that our news partnership IS still in effect, and in fact wants to meet with me to discuss ways to strengthen this partnershp.  Risby was wrong on this as with so many things.