Are We Better Off Than We Were?

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Mark Okrant, NH Travel Guru

By Mark Okrant, NH Travel Guru

For this week’s Guru column, I am going to direct you to a recent item produced by the Pew Research Center, titled, “U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around the World Question Trump’s Leadership.”

I ask you to look at the Pew report in the context of current international tourism. It is well known that this country’s ability to attract a healthy share of international travelers is vital to the economic health of our nation. In 2016, we attracted 76.8 million international visitors who helped offset a portion of our negative 29 percent balance of trade, by spending $241 billion dollars during their visits. As we entered 2017, projections were for those visits to reach nearly 79 million, with more good news on the horizon. That projection has changed.

According to Pew Research, the image that this country projects internationally has been closely tied to confidence in our leaders. At a time when worldwide perception of both our citizens and our entertainment vehicles remains strong, what can be said about feelings toward our political leaders? Pew’s delineation depicting which countries’ citizens approve versus disapprove of the leadership in Washington speaks volumes. So does the overall attitude expressed by women and Millennials
in the 37-nation survey.

So, dear readers, rather than attempt to sway public opinion about this important issue, I ask that you peruse the attached item, then discuss Pew Research’s findings with family and friends. As you do, ask yourself (to paraphrase Ronald Reagan’s famous quote during his 1980 presidential debate with Jimmy Carter): Are you better off than you were eleven months ago?

After forty years as an educator, researcher, and consultant, Mark Okrant joined to offer concise, informative insight into New Hampshire’s travel and tourism industry as a business, while showcasing the people and places you want to know. This guy’s really been around. And, he’s funny, too.

For more about Mark’s compelling tourism-based murder mystery series, visit

For information on current things to do in New Hampshire, go to:

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