By Matt Castell @MattCastell06 Feb 2017Given all of the Trump rhetoric recently, Escape Travel Manager Matt Castell asks the question: “Are we going to let a silly little man dampen our customers’ plans?”. Many media agencies last week predictably jumped the gun on The Donald’s new immigration policy, which he signed not even a week into his presidency. They announced that “Aussies may need an interview to travel to the USA” and other titular headlines designed to inspire fear amongst their readership. Also predictably, these fears have since been put to rest, with (hopefully true) confirmation that the current visa-waiver program open for Australians (ESTA) will stay in place, for now. Unfortunately, even though that Travel Agents and a good amount of the public will know this already, others will not. Customers with trips booked already will be calling and asking for clarity on the rule, they may also ask if their travel insurance will cover cancellation in case they won’t be allowed into the country. As much as these feelings may seem ludicrous to the well travelled, those who work in travel and anyone else that has a tight grasp on how our crazy world works these days; we must try and empathise with our customers who get nervous about travelling to a country that has just been taken over by an orange, pussy-grabbing racist. And who could blame them? The other moral quandary that I suffer with the current proverbial political storm in the land of the free is whether I should support a country that is essentially closing it’s doors on people based on their religious beliefs. The word “boycott” will be tossed around. Trump is, after all building a wall… I will continue to support the US of A’s tourism industry, both by travelling there myself and by recommending trips to my customers. Image: TrekAmerica My reason is simple: the trickle down effect. By not supporting Trump, I’d in turn, not be supporting the guy that sells juice on Venice Beach, the young Mum that works night shifts dealing cards at the Bellagio or the family that just started running boat trips for tourists on the bayou in Louisiana. Yes, even if they voted him in. It’s definitely a funny situation to be in – trying to keep my political and humanitarian views on the side, whilst giving professional and personal advice to my customers. This is something I need to do though, because it’s not my job. So it is “business as usual” for travel to the USA? Definitely not, but is travel ever that simple? We battle hurricanes; riots, terror threats, strikes, aviation disasters and waiting on hold to many of our suppliers all day, everyday. Oh look, another volcanic ash cloud Are we going to let a silly little man dampen our customers’ plans? He’s going to make our jobs a tad more difficult over the coming weeks or months before he’s impeached, like for example, I have a customer who was born in Iraq, but has never held an Iraqi passport or citizenship. He (and I) has absolutely no idea if he’ll be affected by the changes – yet. But I will find out for him, because that’s what we do. What do you think? Share your thoughts below. Other stories you may like Be a part of an amazing Qantas Famil Adventure! Most Aussies still book Hawaii through their Travel Agent Never been to New Orleans? Read this & then WIN this!