Demand for travel to the United States has flattened out, with uncertainty over a possible new travel order likely deterring visitors, according to travel industry analysts. Fred Katayama reports.
As President Donald Trump signed a revised travel ban Monday, travel experts charge he's thrown a wet blanket on the business. Especially hard hit - travel from the United States to and from the Middle East - according to travel analysis company ForwardKeys. After the travel ban was first imposed in January, it says international travel to the U.S. dropped 6.5 percent. Bookings to the United States recovered when the courts halted the ban. But they dropped again after plans for a new ban were announced on February 17th. Overall, bookings for travel to the United States over the next three months are down 0.4 percent from last year. Hannah Sampson of industry intelligence firm Skift says the travel ban could be very costly in the long run. (SOUNDBITE) HANNAH SAMPSON, NEWS EDITOR, SKIFT, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Any revised travel ban, even if it doesn't create the same amount of chaos, is putting the word out that America doesn't want certain people in the country. And the response from the travel industry has been, we understand that you need security, but as long as you're trying to make the borders more secure, please also put out a welcoming message, we want people to come here, we want tourists here." Chief executives of American Airlines and United Continental told reporters last week their companies had not yet noticed any effects from the original order. Marriott's chief executive said it was too early for conclusive evidence. He also said that the strong dollar could be playing a role, particularly for travelers from Europe. According to travel search site Kayak, searches from Europe for flights to the U.S. have fallen 12 percent since the elections.