Donald Trump’s immigration policies may or may not be good for America. But, the world’s biggest travel companies claimed, they are definitely bad for tourism.
Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of Expedia, noted that the situation is sufficiently dire that firms like his are “preparing for a turbulent year amid falling international interest in visiting the country,” the Financial Times reported.
The most recent round of trouble seems to have been brought on by the second draft of a refugee ban put forth by the White House. The U.S. Justice Department has already formally appealed a Hawaiian federal judge’s ruling that suspended segments of travel ban 2.0.
That appeal will now go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a court most recently known for upholding the travel ban 1.0. The new ban is an attempt to correct what various courts around the nation pointed out were deep constitutional flaws with the first version of the travel ban. The ban also tipped off mass waves of protests at airports nationwide.
Trump has said the travel ban is needed for national security.
Whatever one’s view, Khosrowshahi told the Financial Times that Trump’s actions are not good for the travel business.
“I think that because of some of the perceived positions coming out of the current administration, the U.S. as a destination is potentially looking less attractive as a product.”
“One of two things is going to happen. Either the U.S. has to go on sale in order to keep volumes up, or volumes are going to come down. When we look at our business, the leading indicator is pricing. Pricing has come down.”
The data indicates that prices are going to continue coming down — searches from Europe for flights to the U.S. are down by 12 percent since the election, according to Kayak.
The good news in this is Germans, whose searches for U.S. travel deals are up 10 percent according to data supplied by Kayak to Reuters. Mostly likely because, given their history, things in the U.S. would have to get a lot more out of hand before we can reasonably hope to shock Germans.
Current estimates are that the American tourism industry will take an $18 billion hit during the next two years.