Trump’s travel ban is turning visitors off the US

Visitors turn away from US after Trump's travel ban

International travel demand to the U.S. has taken a hit since President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily banning travel from certain countries, data analysts have reported.

The order, signed on January 27, denied entry to citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and suspended the admissions of refugees for 120 days.

It is now emerging that the ban is reducing flight demand and bookings from several countries, not just the countries affected by the ban.

Total net flight bookings to the U.S. between January 28 and February 4 are down 6.5 percent compared to the same period the year before, according to data from travel analysts ForwardKeys. Net bookings from the seven effected countries were down 80 percent.

ForwardKeys says their data suggests the travel ban is putting people off travelling to the U.S.

"The data forces a compelling conclusion that Donald Trump's travel ban immediately caused a significant drop in bookings to the USA and an immediate impact on future travel," said Olivier Jager, CEO of ForwardKeys, in a press release.

"As inbound travel is an export industry (it earns foreign currency), this is not good news for the U.S. economy. However, one must bear in mind that this is just an eight-day snapshot from when the ban was put in place and we will continue to monitor what happens as the political situation develops."

Thousands of people attend an anti-Donald Trump travel ban protest outside Hatfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia U.S., January 29, 2017.
Christopher Aluka Berry | Reuters

Meanwhile, flight search demand from international origins fell 17 percent between Trump's inauguration and the implementation of the executive order, according to Hopper, a big data company that analyzes airfares.

Hopper found that flight search demand had fallen in 94 out of 122 countries it analyzed, and international demand is down for all major U.S. destinations.

"We have seen little impact on pricing so far, but the airfare market typically takes weeks rather than days to react," said Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at Hopper, in a research note.

"Last year, we saw only a 1.8 percent decline for the comparable time period which suggests the change is not a simple seasonal effect."

Since the travel ban was implemented, demand has recovered slightly but is significantly below expected levels, according to Hopper.

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