US president Trump’s first executive order in January to block entry for citizens of seven countries and latest revision on the travel ban on Monday has impacted travel to and from the US, found travel intelligence company ForwardKeys.
The revision announced on March 6 spares Iraq and reverses an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, replacing it with a 120-day freeze that requires review and renewal. Travellers holding pre-existing visas would still be allowed entry, which will come into effect at midnight on March 16. US permanent residents will also not be affected by the order.
The latest study, which adds to ForwardKeys’ earlier findings, found US travel bookings to the Middle East had plunged by 17 per cent four weeks following the initial ban, while bookings to South Asia (which includes Iran in ForwardKeys’ definition) fell 24 per cent.
Forward bookings for March to May were also found to have stalled from the US to the Middle East and South Asia.
Travel to the US is affected too, with ForwardKeys data showing a 6.5 per cent slump in inbound bookings in the eight days following the imposition of the first travel ban.
Forward bookings for total international arrivals in the US for the next three months, are currently slightly 0.4 per cent behind where they were at the same time last year. Inbound travel from Europe, the Middle East and Africa is significantly behind whereas travel from Asia-Pacific and the Americas is ahead. As a benchmark, on January 27, the day before the imposition of the first travel ban, three-month forward bookings were 3.4 per cent ahead.
The latest findings were submitted to White House press secretary Lindsay Walters on March 3, prior to the implementation of the revised ban on March 16.
Olivier Jager, CEO, ForwardKeys, said: “The information provided to the White House makes it clear that the travel ban has damaged the US travel industry.
“Donald Trump’s on-off travel ban has created a rollercoaster ride for the travel industry. Some passengers do not know where they stand as they await president Trump’s promised new order. It’s not at all clear when that will come. In the meantime, uncertainty reigns and the presidential rhetoric appears to be deterring visitors to the US.”
The detailed study can be found here.