A large youth group cancelled plans to stay at the New York Hostel on Amsterdam Avenue and West 103rd Street because of the Trump administration’s travel ban, according to a report in Crain’s.
The group, called World Merit, “had booked between 800 and 1,000 beds over 10 days, starting in late August.” The group was coming to the city for WorldMerit360, “an annual event that draws young people from around the world to tackle the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. But World Merit has decided to hold it in the United Kingdom instead.”
Russ Hedge, the CEO of Hostelling International, which owns New York Hostel said “they were concerned about being welcome in the U.S., especially people traveling on dual-citizenship passports. Part of the group might have been able to enter the country while the other part couldn’t.”
In an email over the weekend, Chris Arnold, the founder and chief executive of World Merit, wrote that the “general tone and messaging” of the administration post-inauguration also played a role in the decision, with 62% of the membership voting to move the event to another country.
“The travel ban, take two, has only created more uncertainty, and I think everyone is now feeling that we made the right decision,” he wrote.
Five groups have cancelled stays at the hostel chain since the travel ban, according to Hedge. The Crain’s story covers the overall anxiety within the city’s travel industry over the potential falloff in tourism. The city tourism agency has predicted the first drop in tourism in 7 years.