Published on : Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Dr. Taleb Rifai, the head of the UNWTO said that President Trump’s move to alter a travel ban on citizens of certain Muslim-majority countries will not diminish its impact on tourism. Dr. Rifai said, “People don’t go to places where they don’t feel welcome” before the ITB Berlin which opened today. On Monday, Trump signed a revised executive order banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from travelling to the United States but removing Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts.
Last week, Dr. Rifai said that the United States had lost $185 million in one month after the first ban was introduced and stands chance to lose tens of millions more each month if similar policies are continued.
Recent tourism data showed that demand for travel to the US over the coming months has already lessened. But any slump in demand for travel to the United States is not expected to have an impact on travel in general. International tourist numbers are expected to grow 3 to 4 percent this year from last year’s 1.24 billion according to Dr. Rifai.
To quote Dr. Rifai, “The world has opened up in incredible ways. There are so many options now. If you want to gamble, you don’t have to go to Las Vegas, you can go to Macau instead.”