by Allen J. Sheinman | March 06, 2017
A new report from travel analysis company ForwardKeys finds international bookings for travel to the United States are down by 0.4 percent from Feb. 4 through May 6, 2017, year-over-year. The report also found that international travel dropped by 6.5 percent in the eight days following the announcement on Jan. 27 of President Donald J. Trump's executive order temporarily restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. While bookings recovered somewhat after a federal judge in Seattle blocked the measure on Feb. 3, ForwardKeys reported they dropped again after the Trump administration announced plans for a new ban on Feb. 17 (the new travel restrictions might be announced later today, March 6).
The travel ban "is putting off people traveling to the U.S. from many regions of the world, beyond the Middle East," noted the report. Since the executive order was issued, declines in total net bookings have been tallied from Northern Europe (-6.6 percent), Western Europe (-13.6 percent), Asia Pacific (-14 percent) and Africa (-6.1 percent), while bookings are up from Eastern Europe (+15.8 percent) and the Americas (excluding U.S. domestic; +2.3 percent).
Among other findings from the report: After the original ban was announced, travel from the seven countries listed as being restricted (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) were down by 80 percent between Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, year-over-year. Only Iran logged an increase in bookings after the ban was blocked. In all, bookings from the Middle East have declined by 37.5 percent, year-over-year, since Trump's executive order was issued.
"Uncertainty reigns and the presidential rhetoric appears to be deterring visitors to the U.S.," said ForwardKeys founder Olivier Jager in a statement. ForwardKeys analyses some 16 million flight reservations daily from major global reservation systems.