“For the hospitality industry, it is generally based on corporations that will have additional dollars they want to pump back into their sales and their employees and work force,” he said.
Patel says in this era of ‘Skype’ and ‘Gotomeeting,’ many corporations will cut their travel budgets first and this will enable them to restore many of those cuts.
“Extra conventions and different association events that are outside of their town, those are things that frequently have to be cut back first,” he said. “Those are the things that can get back onto the table.”
Patel says hotels and other travel related companies will ‘definitely’ invest the corporate tax cuts in additional employees, because hospitality is a very people-based industry.
But Patel says the gains brought by the tax cut bill for the travel and tourism industry will simply offset the losses the industry is feeling from other Trump Administration policies, which have resulted in a $1.3 billion cut in travel related expenditures in the U.S. nationwide this year, mainly due to drops in international business.
He says just like many Americans won’t travel to Mexico, even though the vast majority of the country is safe, due to concerns about drug violence, many international travelers now have the ‘perception’ that the U.S. is an ‘unstable’ place to visit.
“We just banned travel from eight countries,” he said. “If you are looking from the outside about where to travel, and there is a certain area of political instability, you might not want to travel there.”
He says these concerns are particularly warranted in San Antonio because much of the city’s travel growth is seen as in international visitors, following the declaration of the Spanish Colonial Missions as World Heritage Sites.