By David Krause, The Aspen Times
ASPEN — Aspen Skiing Co. president and CEO Mike Kaplan said the major reason for a 30 percent drop in visitors from Mexico during the 2016-17 ski season was “xenophobia radiating from the Oval Office.”
Kaplan made the accusation in a guest opinion column published Friday in The Wall Street Journal, the latest in a series of criticisms he has aimed at the Trump administration since the 2016 presidential election.
In his piece, Kaplan makes the argument that signals and statements coming from President Donald Trump are bad for business — and that Trump needs to stop.
“Last year visitation to Aspen by Mexicans dropped 30 percent compared with the 2015-16 ski season,” Kaplan writes in the op-ed, titled “Aspen Needs Mexican Tourists.” “Bookings for 2017-18 aren’t looking much better. There are multiple reasons, but the xenophobia radiating from the Oval Office ranks at the top.”
Kaplan added: “If President Trump is as concerned with the U.S. trade deficit as he says, he should recognize that tourism to the U.S. is a type of export to other countries. Foreign visitors come here and spend their money. The U.S. destinations they visit cannot be ‘off-shored’ or moved to Mexico.”