Rabat - The unwelcoming message sent by Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries has resulted in a rapid decline in desire to visit the United States.
Rabat – The unwelcoming message sent by Trump’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries has resulted in a rapid decline in desire to visit the United States.
After heavy opposition and months spent battling courts, a revised version of US President Donald Trump’s travel ban went into effect on the evening of Thursday, June 29. Those from Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, and Sudan are now banned from the country for 90 days unless possessing a bona fide relationship in the States.
Immediately following the controversial announcement, European travel groups cancelled plans to visit the country: Hostelling International USA recorded a loss of more than 2,000 overnight stays in the US.
Group organizers stated that tourists were suddenly made aware that the US may not be as welcoming a place as it once was.
Russ Hedge, chief executive of Hostelling International USA, told the Washington Post that the overwhelming number of cancellations made following the ban “was startling,” adding that the company had “never seen anything like that.” The company has more than 50 hostels worldwide and makes most of its bookings online, where international business to the US has decreased.
In a statement from investment bank Robert W. Baird & Co., Vice President Michael Bellisario said, “The travel ban is only a negative at this point. It hurts travel, regardless of whether we’re talking about one of the banned countries or not.”
Since Trump’s election as President of the United States in November 2016, the country’s share of international tourism dropped by over 18 percent, according to data from the check-in-tracking company Foursquare. While international tourism rates have risen by six percent, Trump’s strong “America first” rhetoric and policies seem to have made international travelers wary of paying a visit to the US.
The US Supreme Court will take on the travel ban’s case in its entirety when it resumes case hearings in the fall of 2017. Until then, the nation’s tourism – and its use of the welcome mat – may be on hold.