|Scaring them off?|
I think so.
Foreign tourists matter. Calling it the "Trump Slump," Forbes magazine last month noted that the U.S. share of international travel has dropped "sharply" during Donald Trump's tenure in the White House, falling by 6%, costing the U.S. 7.4 million visitors and $32 billion in 2017. Forbes says there's likely to be more this year. So far in 2018, visitations to Mt. Rushmore have fallen by about 6%. That would be 108,000 visitors. Nationally, National Park visitations have dropped by 8.4 million, or nearly 4%. I think the dropoff in foreign visitation accounts for much of this. A strong U.S. Dollar might have a bit to do with it, but Forbes research on the fluctuating value of the Dollar and tourism patterns don't give the theory much credence. The influential business advocacy group Business Forward, which featured the situation last summer in a piece about the "Trump Slump," makes it hard to draw any other conclusion. Now that there's a powerfully mobilized national group of businesses working to stop the negative effects of President Trump's ill-advised tariff wars, South Dakota's business community has reason to consider doing the same thing.