Trump Has Cost US Tourism $185m
The Global Business Travel Association, representing business travel managers, has reported that a travel ban imposed by US President Donald Trump has cost the country's travel sector $185 million.
GBTA noted that visits to the US have tailed off by 2.2% since Trump implemented his controversial executive order, which banned citizens of seven mainly Muslim countries from visiting the US.
Enacted on Jan. 27, the travel ban was suspended by US District Judge James Robart on Feb. 3. Later that week, appeal court judges refused to reinstate Trump's executive order.
The report by GBTA, available online on their website, reads: "USA system-wide business travel transaction levels were increasing by +1.2% the week before the travel ban but decreased by -2.2% the week after the travel ban for a net negative industry impact of -3.4% in one week.
"In that week, approximately $185 million in business travel bookings were lost as the uncertainty surrounding travel in general had a rippling effect on traveler confidence."
Explicitly linking the travel decline to employment, the GBTA estimates that every 1% change in annual business-travel spending translates into 71,000 fewer jobs, $3 billion in lost wages and a $5 billion loss in GDP. Trump's inauguration as president has itself caused a decline in trips to the US.
A comparison by Hopper of Internet searches for flights to the US. from other countries before and after the inauguration found a 17% falloff, indicating a significant drop in interest in visiting the US.
Among the countries included in the travel ban, demand for US flights plunged even more, by 33%. What the report’s author characterized as a “notable exception” was interest in US travel from Russia, which spiked by 88%, according to Smart Travel.
While a slight downturn in travel demand is normal at this time of year, it is typically off only around 2%; a 17% drop indicates there are other factors in play and Trump’s election and travel ban are the only viable candidates.