Call it retaliation or call it reciprocity, the cause and effect is the same. The cause is Donald Trump’s January 27,2017 decision to the suspend United States participation in the visa waiver program with Europe, and the effect is the European Parliament’s vote on Thursday resulting in an end to their part in the visa waiver program with the United States.
This ends the ability of U.S. nationals to travel throughout Europe without a visa for stays less than 90 days. Consequently, when this goes into affect U.S. tourists will be required to apply for a visa prior to visiting Europe regardless of the length of their visit, mirroring the new United States policy toward European travelers.
12.6 million U.S. citizens traveled to Europe in 2016, and well over 16 million Europeans travelled to the U.S. according to the National Travel and Tourism office. International visitors to the U.S. spent $246.2 billion dollars in 2016.
This added obstacle to the travel process will likely discourage tourism, and will ultimately have a detrimental effect on America’s $130-billion dollar international airline industry. Hotels, restaurants, etc. will also take a hit. This could mean downsizing and lost jobs.
The appeal the United States holds as a travel destination for Europeans has wavered with what is viewed as a new hostile attitude toward foreigners, discouraging many who can just as easily travel elsewhere. This perception of the U.S. can be directly attributed to the Trump administration’s new customs and immigrations policies.