Several countries have issued warnings recently to their citizens about traveling to the United States.
Countries such as Canada, New Zealand and Germany have warned would-be U.S. tourists about safety, for reasons ranging from mass shootings to hurricanes and wildfires.
Ed Daly, editor-in-chief of the travel intelligence firm, iJET's Global Intelligence Division, told Fox News that while other countries have issued travel warnings about visiting the United States in the past, there’s a new dimension to concern about violence.
“Each time there’s a high-profile event that gets lots of coverage overseas, there’s an advisory,” said Daly, referring to the Las Vegas shooter who killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds who were attending a country music festival several weeks ago.
“If you look back in recent years, even a decade, the difference is they’re larger, the number of victims appears to be getting larger,” Daly said. “The frequency and scale to which they happen cause concerns.”
Canada has warned its citizens about “the possession of firearms and the frequency of violent crime,” noting that they “are generally more prevalent in the U.S. than in Canada.”
“Within large metropolitan areas, violent crime more commonly occurs in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, particularly from dusk to dawn, and often involves alcohol and/or drug consumption,” the government website said. “Incidents of violent crime are mainly perpetrated by gangs or members of organized crime groups. Incidents of mass shooting receive a lot of media attention, yet account for a very small percentage of all homicide deaths in the country.”
New Zealand said on its site that: “Active shooter incidents occur from time to time in the United States.” And it described violence and gun ownership as being more common in the United States than within its borders.
Increasingly tense and violent political rallies and marches also have prompted warnings. Some, such as the German government’s notice to its citizens, noted that political protests are commonplace and often see violence. It advises people visiting the United States to stay clear of political demonstrations.
Canada also urges: “Avoid all demonstrations, monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities.”
Then there are advisories about regions ravaged by natural disasters.
“People considering a vacation at the beach or wine country might feel like there’s no safe haven,” said Daly, referring to the hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, and the wildfires out West.
In a September article on U.S. tourism, which experienced a decline the first months of this year when compared to the same period in 2016, the New York Times quoted some as saying shootings and political tensions gave them pause about traveling here.
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that the U.S. had received about 700,000 fewer visitors than it did at the beginning of 2016.
Marika Treichel, a Denmark resident, was quoted as telling the Times: “I have always dreamed of visiting the U.S.. But the rise of gun violence and political chaos has made me want to cancel all future travels to the U.S. until I can feel safe as a tourist.”
The Times also cited the strength of the U.S. dollar and that it may translate into a more expensive vacation for many travelers, but it dismissed that as a likely significant factor in the tourism decline.
All told, however, Daly said U.S. tourism generally should remain solid, barring any major incidents.