February 8, 2017 / 12:02 AM / 8 months ago

Trump travel restrictions hit demand for visits to U.S. - study

    BERLIN, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The travel restrictions put in
place by U.S. 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 U.S. 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 U.N. World Tourism Organization,
have also warned travel demand could be hurt by U.S.
restrictions, which are still suspended pending a U.S. 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 U.S.," said Nadejda Popova, travel
project manager at Euromonitor.  
    "The new executive order could also impact how the U.S. is
perceived as a tourism destination and how open to foreign
travellers it will be in the future."
    Following is a geographical breakdown of net bookings to the
United States while the ban was in place, according to
ForwardKeys data.
    
                               Net bookings to U.S.
                               Jan. 28-Feb. 4
 From seven banned countries*       -80.0 pct
 From Northern Europe                -6.6 pct
 From Western Europe                -13.6 pct
 From Southern Europe                -2.9 pct
 From Middle East                   -37.5 pct
 From Asia/Pacific **               -14.0 pct
 From Central/Eastern Europe        +15.8 pct
 From Africa                         -6.1 pct
 From Americas **                    +2.3 pct
 Overall                             -6.5 pct
 *Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen
 ** Not including China/Hong Kong due to seasonal effect of
Chinese New Year demand
 *** Includes U.S. domestic

 (Reporting by Victoria Bryan; editing by David Clarke)
  

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