MidEast travel to US slumps following Trump ban

When the travel ban was in place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4, reservations dropped 80%
People protesting US President Donald Trumps travel ban greet travelers at The Bradley International Terminal at LAX Airport in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)
By Reuters
Wed 08 Feb 2017 09:55 AM

The travel restrictions put in place by US President Donald Trump on seven countries are deterring travellers from other countries too, according to a travel analysis company.

ForwardKeys, which analyses 16 million flight reservations a day from major global reservation systems, said bookings for international arrivals to the United States over the next three months were 2.3 percent higher than last year.

But on Jan. 27, the day Trump issued the executive order, bookings had been 3.4 percent ahead of the previous year, Forwardkeys data showed.

When the travel ban was in place from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4, bookings to the United States dropped 6.5 percent, including an 80 percent slump in reservations from the seven countries listed on Trump's order and a 13.6 percent drop from Western Europe.

On the day the curbs were lifted by a US judge, bookings from Iran surged, ForwardKeys said, leaving reservations for travel to the United States five times higher on Feb. 3 and Feb. 4 than the same two days a year earlier. Most of those bookings were for arrival in the United States on Feb. 5 and Feb. 6.

ForwardKeys CEO Olivier Jager cautioned that the data was just a snapshot of an eight-day period and it would continue to monitor the situation.

Other groups, such as the UN World Tourism Organisation, have also warned travel demand could be hurt by US restrictions, which are still suspended pending a US appeals court hearing due to start at 2300 GMT on Tuesday.

"The ambiguity of these very latest developments introduced by President Trump is casting a shadow over the future travel demand to and from the US," said Nadejda Popova, travel project manager at Euromonitor.

Net bookings to US - Jan. 28-Feb. 4

From seven banned countries* -80.0%

From Northern Europe -6.6%

From Western Europe -13.6%

From Southern Europe -2.9%

From Middle East -37.5%

From Asia/Pacific** -14.0%

From Central/Eastern Europe +15.8%

From Africa -6.1%

From Americas** +2.3%

Overall -6.5%

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