New data reveals the damage Trump’s campaign has done to his hotel empire

Donald Trump s hotel empire has taken a hit since the Republican nominee announced his intention to run for president last year, new evidence has shown.

Data from mobile phone app company Foursquare, which lets users “check in” at their location, has revealed that footfall to the controversial candidate s properties in the US has dropped by as much as 17 per cent since June last year, when Trump threw his hat into the ring.

New Data Reveals The Damage Trump's Campaign Has Done To His Hotel Empire Trump has not shied from controversy Credit: 2016 Getty Images/John Moore

Trump-branded hotels, casinos and golf courses have all seen reductions in the number of visitors, according to the figures, and while there was a brief respite at the start of the year, numbers fell again once the primaries began in spring. The businessman-turned-politician has run a campaign mired in controversy, from a proposed ban on Muslims entering the US1 and his repeated advocacy of violence2 to his tax affairs3 and unsettling stance on nuclear weapons4. The statistics from Foursquare and sister app Swarm, which have previously used data to study the success of McDonald’s all-day breakfast5 and the sales of Apple’s iPhone 6s, suggest these have taken their toll on his businesses.

New Data Reveals The Damage Trump's Campaign Has Done To His Hotel Empire

The properties that were hardest hit were the Trump SoHo, Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago and Trump Taj Mahal, down between 17 and 24 per cent in raw foot traffic this past year compared to the previous year, Foursquare said in a blogpost6.

Indeed, it was this week announced the Trump Taj Mahal, a casino in Atlantic City, would close this year after the operation had become unprofitable. Trump sold the casino to billionaire Carl Icahn in 2009, but it still bears his branding.

New Data Reveals The Damage Trump's Campaign Has Done To His Hotel Empire One might have thought the number of protests outside his properties would have increased footfall Credit: 2015 Getty Images/Scott Olson

For fans of Trump, the business losses may simply reflect the cost of sticking by his campaign statements and beliefs, said Foursquare. For critics of Trump, the fact that more people are staying away from Trump-branded properties may reflect people voting with their feet . The app also looked at whether the footfall in blue or Democratic states was any different to the national average.

New Data Reveals The Damage Trump's Campaign Has Done To His Hotel Empire

Since March, the fall in footfall to Trump s properties in the likes of New York, New Jersey and Illinois have taken a real dip and created a widening gap between this year s figures and last. In July, the number of people visiting the venues was down 20 per cent.

New Data Reveals The Damage Trump's Campaign Has Done To His Hotel Empire

Foursquare says this has been driven by women. When separating the results by gender, falls in female visitors is as much as 29 per cent. This is perhaps a result of Trump s less-than chivalrous treatment of some female journalists7. A study of purple swing states such as Florida and Nevada revealed no easy conclusions, with footfalls up and down on last year. They have seen share loss, but it s more favourable territory for the Trump brand, said Foursquare.

Donald Trump Hotels Golf resorts8

This is not the first evidence of Trump s hotel empire suffering on account of his presidential campaign. After he called for a blanket ban on Muslims entering the US, it was reported that Khlalaf Al Habtoor, a self-made billionaire whose UAE-based conglomerate built Dubai s airport, renounced his backing of Trump9. Lucy Lawless, the actress who played Xena Warrior Princess, said at the same time that she used to stay in Trump hotels but would never again and called for others to join her boycott.

New Data Reveals The Damage Trump's Campaign Has Done To His Hotel EmpireDonald Trump jokes about throwing baby out of rally Play! 00:46

In February this year, Bloomberg10 reported that a variety of Trump s ventures around the world were unsuccessfully weathering a range of storms, from disappointing returns, unhappy business partners, and unpopular branding.

Trump Tower in New York, where the man himself lives, this year became the site of a certain new brand of selfie11 – where visitors would stick their middle finger at the skyscraper.


  1. ^ ban on Muslims entering the US (
  2. ^ his repeated advocacy of violence (
  3. ^ his tax affairs (
  4. ^ unsettling stance on nuclear weapons (
  5. ^ McDonald’s all-day breakfast (
  6. ^ blogpost (
  7. ^ less-than chivalrous treatment of some female journalists (
  8. ^ Donald Trump Hotels Golf resorts (
  9. ^ renounced his backing of Trump (
  10. ^ Bloomberg (
  11. ^ the site of a certain new brand of selfie (

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