by Loren G. Edelstein | February 02, 2017
Don Welsh, president and CEO of Destination Marketing Association International, sent a letter to the association's members this afternoon, along with a statement regarding President Trump's Executive Order restricting travel by nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen) to the United States.
 
In his note to members, Welsh said, "Needless to say, these are challenging times for our industry." He went on to note that the statement "is intended to be most respectful to the new administration, however, we wanted to go on record that we believe that these new restrictions are detrimental to our industry."
 
The association's official statement reads as follows: 
 
While DMAI understands the need for security in our travel, we are deeply concerned that a ban based on nationality -- even a temporary one -- runs contrary to the principle of freedom of travel promoted by the international tourism community.
 
An arbitrary ban like this one has the potential to interfere and impede the benefits the tourism industry offers by way of economic development, job creation and promoting understanding between countries and communities. DMAI strongly urges the Trump Administration to review any visa issuance procedures in question, and lift this travel ban as quickly as possible.
 
As a passionate advocate for our members, the association serves as a catalyst for the exchange of ideas and solutions in matters that affect destination marketing organizations so that they can continue to drive economic benefits in their communities. Terrorism, immigration policies and other travel-related issues are regular topics of debate among local and national governments, and DMAI is constantly monitoring elections, as well as legislative and executive actions across the globe.
 
We are closely tracking progress of President Trump's travel ban, along with our industry partners, and are here to serve as a resource for your organization. Please feel free to contact Jack Johnson at advocacy@destinationmarketing.org to share any concerns or questions.