Will revised travel ban bring any change to the U.S. tourism industry?

Published on : Monday, July 3, 2017

The travel industry experts finds the 90-day U.S. travel ban by the Trump administration imposed on the six Muslim-majority countries last week will have equal ramifications around the globe as the January travel ban.



Lisa Simon, executive director of the International Inbound Travel Association said that although they are not the major tourism markets, there has been significant growth in the recent years. “There is concern that there is going to be a perspective from the Middle East in general and Muslims coming from other countries that they would not come to the United States because of this action,” Lisa added. Also, the Europeans who disapprove of the ban might look elsewhere to travel.



As per the ban in June 29, it applies to nationals from Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Libya. The Trump administration was able to implement it pursuant to a June 26 Supreme Court opinion, which stated the administration can block nationals of those countries, though exceptions must be made for individuals “who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”


However, the court also said that those who are visiting close family or have schools and jobs lined up in the country are exempted from the ban.


The opinion partially reversed the stay on the ban that had been implemented by lower courts. Until the Supreme Court hears the case again in October, the ban will remain in effect. Since the 90-day period will be expired by then, the case may be mooted by then. During these 90 days, the administration will review the travel vetting and security procedures in the mentioned countries and other impacted destinations.


It will, however, be difficult to measure the impact on the inbound traffic of the U.S. travel.


The Global Business Travel Association predicts a loss of more than $1.3 billion in overall travel-related spending in the U.S. due to political uncertainty. On the other hand, the U.S. Travel Association’s Travel Trends Index found that international travel had grown about 4% year-over-year in April.


Jay Smith, chairman of the National Tour Association also expressed the concern about the new travel ban. But he also thinks it won’t affect the tour operators much as there are not much tourists from the designated countries.


Data from the State Department shows that in 2016, the U.S. awarded approximately 44,000 non-immigrant visas to nationals of the six impacted countries, slightly more than half of them to Iranians. It’s likely that only a fraction of those visitors came here as sightseers.


What would matter actually, as the travel experts fear that a lot many companies who are not directly involved in the ban but are raising eyebrows and might consider whether to get involved in any U.S. business.

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