New York's tourism industry is worried about 'Trump slump'

 New York's tourism industry is worried U.S. President Donald Trump's ``America First'' policies are turning off Canadian visitors, and they're heading north this week to woo Canucks and their tourism dollars.     

The head of New York City's official tourism organization, NYC & Company, minces no words in admitting he's keen ``to counter a little bit of the negative rhetoric that is coming out of Washington.''

 ``We recognize there are challenges at the border at the moment,'' Fred Dixon said by phone from New York before the trip.

 ``We want to remind everyone that New York City is welcoming and that we are a diverse and safe city, a sanctuary city like Toronto, and we value the same things.''

 A supposed ``Trump slump'' has yet to be verified by hard data, but anecdotal evidence abounds of would-be travellers vowing to avoid the U.S.

Dixon said New York's allure plummeted after Trump unveiled a barrage of proposed anti-immigrant policies that included a ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries.

 And then Trump started railing against Canada in recent weeks, with attacks targeting dairy farmers, softwood lumber subsidies and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

 His organization predicts New York will see 300,000 fewer foreign tourists this year, representing a 2.1 per cent decline.

That includes a projected 17,000 fewer Canadians, a roughly 1.8 per cent drop.
 Dixon will host a press conference in Toronto on Monday to tout new and coming attractions, and meet with several travel companies including Air Canada, Porter Escapes and Travel Brands on Tuesday.