It’s official: Trump has won the 2016 Election to become the 45th President of the United States, subsequently taking office this week. Read here what effects this may have for travellers heading stateside.
What a nail-biting, nerve-wrecking turn of events! The battle between two fierce rivals has at last come to a decisive end. It was a close race, and one not without some unexpected twists and dramatic results along the way. But in the end it was Donald Trump who emerged victorious.
The victory of the globally controversial Republican is still a little surprising, considering the previous polls that had mostly predicted a Democrat win. But in the early hours of the morning of the election day, Clinton’s defeat was becoming more and more apparent. Trump won in the major swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, enough to give him the lead needed to win in the election. The Republicans have also kept their majority in House of Representatives and in the Senate.
What exactly does this outcome mean for America, and what may change in the future for travellers to the US?
Donald Trump as president – these are his aims
Trump wants to create more job opportunities in the USA by importing fewer goods from China. In the future, Chinese goods could be taxed more heavily.
Taxes should be reduced for all citizens.
Trump speaks of building a wall along the border to Mexico to prevent uncontrolled immigration. He also wants illegal immigrants to be deported.
His foreign policy focuses very clearly on the destruction of the so called “Islamic State”, if necessary with American ground troops. At the moment, the US is still focused on the overthrow of the Syrian leader, Assad. Vladimir Putin could be a potential partner in the battle against the so called IS.
He rejects controversial free trade agreements, like TTIP. The planned free trade between the USA and Europe could be put on hold again.
… And what may change for tourists heading to the US?
America is without doubt one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and its popularity has been on the rise for years. Is this likely to change after the results of the presidential election, or will tourists not notice any difference following the change of power in the White House?
Since the heated US election campaign began, the worldwide image of the US has changed. Many people have been asking themselves how somebody such as Trump, who has continuously attracted attention for his racist and sexist remarks, could now be one of the most powerful politicians in the world. Many people see the system of values that will be brought into the White House with the new president as a bad thing. This could seriously affect the positive image that tourists have of the USA and some travellers may even be completely deterred. It may sound far-fetched to some, but the deteriorating political situation in Turkey following Erdoğan’s crackdown has had a very detrimental effect on tourism to the region. A correlation between politics and tourism isn’t something that should be dismissed entirely.
Shortly after the results were announced, the financial markets noted a weakening of the dollar. Should this trend continue then this will be good news from an Irish standpoint, since travellers will notice the Euro becoming stronger against the US$ when exchanging currencies. In the future, it’s possible that the exchange rate of the dollar could fall even further. The US would become a more attractive destination, especially amongst those looking to travel on a budget.
A tightening of immigration and entry laws is not yet apparent, nor do we know what nature future reforms may take. Although Trump indicated that he would like to make it more difficult for Muslims to enter America in the future, it’s impossible to say how this could be brought into effect. The construction of a wall between the US and Mexico in the coming years is also unlikely, both from a financial and diplomatic standpoint. Travelling from the US to Mexico and vice versa in the future should therefore be possible in the future.
Any travellers wanting to visit the US can still apply for a visa via the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA)as normal. Should a tightening of entry requirements be announced, then stay informed of any additional documents that will be required for the application and keep up to date with any changes to submission deadlines.