Tourism and the Dollar – fillip turning to fizzle?

The cheap dollar was to have brought in foreign tourists in droves but the results have been disappointing according to the TIA. A quote – not used often enough is that the ” recent resurgence of foreign travel is misleading. The country is still attracting two million fewer overseas visitors a year than it did before Sept. 11 – 23.9 million in 2007 versus 26 million in 2000″. But if BusinessWeek magazine’s lead story in their latest issue is right the dollar has reached its bottom and, is in fact, trending up. The magazine quotes, among others, Meg Browne, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman as saying that “the dollar is carving out a bottom”. Apparently, the euro traded at $1.54 on May 2, and the dollar index is 3% off its lows. While BusinessWeek’s focus in the article is on the impact of the weak dollar on export (where, interestingly, the benefits have not been uniform) its impact on tourism can hardly be helpful. Hoteliers too, perhaps, can draw some comfort should this result in an upward trend of the greenback as commodity prices may ease up giving the traveling public break in the relentless rise at the gas pump.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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