Trump ‘travel ban’ forecast to cost US $18bn

Trump ‘travel ban’ forecast to cost US $18bn

The rhetoric around president Trump’s US travel ban has damaged the US brand, experts say.

A study has forecast that president Trump’s travel ban could spark a 10.6 million decline in visitors to the US between this year and next.

Tourism Economics predicts the drop, which it expects to be nearly 7% of expected travellers, could cost the US economy $18 billion and 107,000 jobs.

More than half of the anticipated drop would be caused by reduced travel from Mexico and Canada, but Tourism Economics’ experts say they are also concerned about declines from the UK and other countries in Western Europe.

“The travel ban, such as it is, would affect less than 0.1% of all visitors,” said Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics.

“But the whole rhetoric around it has damaged the US brand as a destination. It’s a very discretionary market. It takes very little for them to shift their travel plan and preferences.”

Sacks said the strong dollar had also played a role, slowing the drop and even increasing travel since the ban.

But he is now forecasting a sharp drop. “Bookings and survey data are all indicating that travellers are adjusting their travel plans,” he added.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that business travellers are looking elsewhere. A survey by the Global Business Travel Association found that nearly half of business travel managers are expecting to cut back on meetings and conferences in the States.

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