President Donald Trump's ban on travel from seven countries appeared to deter overall travel to the U.S., according to flight reservation transactions analyzed by travel data company ForwardKeys.

After Jan. 27, when the president ordered a 90-day travel ban on nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Syria, ForwardKeys discovered a 6.5% drop in international travel to the U.S. compared with the equivalent eight-day period the year before. The ban was halted by a federal judge on Feb. 4., and the Trump administration has appealed the ruling.

"The data forces a compelling conclusion that Donald Trump's travel ban immediately caused a significant drop in bookings to the USA and an immediate impact on future travel," stated Olivier Jager, CEO of ForwardKeys. "This is not good news for the U.S. economy. However, one must bear in mind that this is just an eight-day snapshot from when the ban was put in place and we will continue to monitor what happens as the political situation develops."

Specifically, bookings from Northern Europe were down 7%, Western Europe down 14%, Southern Europe down 3%, the Middle East down 38% and Asia Pacific down 14%.

Not all travel to the U.S. was down, however. Bookings from Central and Eastern Europe and from the Americas to the U.S. were up 15.8% and 2.3%, respectively.

After Judge James Robart placed a temporary block on Trump's travel ban, bookings to the U.S. from Iran surged on Feb. 3 and 4, five times higher than same two days last year, according to ForwardKeys, which noted that Iran was the only country to have such a surge following the suspension of the ban.

"Whilst travel bookings on any given day can be significantly up or down compared to the same day a year before, variability over a few consecutive days is typically much less," ForwardKeys said. "The eight-day period coinciding with the travel ban is the first time since before the presidential election in early November that there has been a consistently long run of negative variations compared with the equivalent period the year before."

For reference, inbound bookings to the U.S. for the entire past year were down 0.4%.


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