The Trump slump has hit US tourism following the President’s travel ban attempt.
According to travel intelligence analyst ForwardKeys, following Donald Trump’s travel ban announcement international bookings to the US fell 6.5 percent over the next eight days compared to the same period in 2016.
Despite the ban being temporarily blocked by US courts, the impact on tourism seems to be continuing, with international bookings to the country slowing down from +3.4 percent to +2.3 percent as of February 4.
A break-down of the data shows that it is not just the seven countries stipulated in the ban – Syria, Yemen, Iran, Libya, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan – where travel to the US is slowing.
The Middle East showed a 37.5 percent drop in US-bound travellers during the eight-day period, while the Asia Pacific region numbers were down 14 percent, and Africa numbers were down 6.1 percent.
Northern Europe, western Europe and southern Europe were down 6.6 percent, 13.6 percent and 2.9 percent respectively. Eastern Europe, however, bucked the trend, showing a 15.8 percent increase in tourists heading to the States.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has also reported a negative response, saying that a poll of its US members showed that 31 percent expect the ban to result in reduced travel for their companies.
The members said potential for countries to respond to this ban, making travel more difficult for Americans (63 percent), complications travelling to the United States (56 percent) and increased threats against US travellers abroad (54 percent) were their main concerns arising from the ban.
Speaking at the Routes Americas aviation conference in Las Vegas, World Travel and Tourism Council president David Scowsill warned that the ban risked putting the US back down the path it was on following the September 11 terror attacks.
Scowsill said the “strict visa policies and inward-looking sentiment” in the decade following the attacks led to a $US600 billion loss in tourism revenues and a nine percent drop in international arrivals.
“The Trump Administration is in danger of steering the country in the same direction, which could have a huge impact on the country’s travel and tourism sector, which generates over eight percent of the country’s GDP and supports nearly 10 percent of total employment in the US,” he said.