When the Political Becomes Practical

(Photo Credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com)

Donald Trump, a U.S. business mogul and TV personality, made controversial remarks in his announcement to run for President of the United States and has subsequently made more.

In his announcement, he referred to people from Mexico and even to the entire country in ways that were, in my opinion and that of many, insulting at the very least. That caused an international brouhaha including one in the District of Columbia, where I live and work, and where the tourism and hospitality industry is a major contributor to the economy.

The District is also the site of the Old Post Office, a magnificent building that Mr. Trump and his family are renovating into a luxury hotel. Those working on the project, many of whom are immigrants as well as a D.C. Council member and residents of D.C., called for the sign to be removed from Pennsylvania Avenue (It was ultimately decided to leave it up).

Two chefs who were to open restaurants in the new hotel both canceled their involvement. Most famously, chef, restaurateur and humanitarian, José Andres, said he walked away from the project out of respect for his employees and because he is a new U.S. citizen (Yes, the hotel owner and candidate is suing Chef Andres).

Further consequences of the candidate’s remarks caused events and groups, including the PGA, to cancel at properties carrying the Trump name. It is not yet known if military veterans’ groups have canceled events at Trump properties as a result of the candidate’s insulting Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a former Vietnam War POW, saying the Senator was not a hero and had done nothing to help veterans.

And these polls give other indications of what the travel industry is thinking and experiencing regarding this candidate’s properties.

I’ve never stayed in a Trump hotel and thus can’t comment about their look, service, or meetings and events support. I haven’t golfed since college or been to any of the Trump-branded golf courses. Regardless of how good they may be, do you think groups in which there are likely to be immigrants or family members of immigrants, people from Mexico, or veterans could step foot in one of the Trump-branded properties? 

And if you had a meeting or event already booked at one of the candidate’s branded hotels, and you knew that some among your meeting constituents or vendors might be in the groups insulted, would you cancel the meeting or event? More, do politics, social justice issues, and local laws that may discriminate against any of your meeting constituents impact your decisions about the destinations and properties you select for your meetings?

As always, if you want me to post your comments as an “anonylister”© Eli Gorin, email me at FridaywithJoan@aol.com with your comments to post.

I will keep them confidential and post them anonymously.

The views expressed in this blog and in other writing are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Meetings Today.

Posted by Joan L. Eisenstodt

Follow Joan on Twitter: @joaneisenstodt

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