Trump Signs New Travel Ban, But How Will It Impact Industry?

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President Donald Trump has sign a new travel ban Monday that halts new visas from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

As previously reported, the new ban drops Iraq from the list of banned countries, instead applying to Iran, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya – the other six countries from the original list. The new order also suspends the United States’ refugee program for 120 days, and lowers the cap on refugees from 110,000 to 50,000 per year.

Other changes: travelers from the affected countries who are legal permanent residents of the United States, dual nationals who use a passport from another country and those who have been granted asylum or refugee status are exempt from the new order. Additionally, current visa holders will be able to get into the country, although those whose visas expire will have to reapply.

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The newly revised travel ban had been in the works for some time after the previous order was suspended by a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

It remains to be seen how the newly revised ban will impact the travel industry. In its travelhorizons survey released after the original ban, travel marketing MMGY Global found that 43 percent of respondents felt that their outbound international travel plans would be impacted by the Trump administration.

43 percent of respondents to the survey said that the Trump administration will have at least some impact on where they choose to vacation internationally, while one quarter (26 percent) say it will have no impact at all. There was a substantial difference between Democrat and Republican respondents, with 52 percent of Democrats feeling the Trump administration will have some impact on their choice of international vacation destinations, while 31 percent of Republicans feel the same way.

Responses differed by age as well. 56 percent of Millennials feel that the Trump administration will have some impact on their international vacation choices, compared to 33 percent of Xers, 15 percent of Young Boomers, 29 percent of Older Boomers and 30 percent of Matures.

In the week following the ban the GBTA released a study reporting a loss of approximately $185 million in business travel bookings, saying that the uncertainty surrounding travel in general had a “rippling effect” on traveler confidence.

“The current state of uncertainty over the travel ban could cause a similar impact on business travel,” the GBTA said at the time.

In a press call shortly after the original ban was implemented, Eben Peck, SVP, government and industry affairs at the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) said that the ban was having a “chilling effect” on the travel industry. At the same time, ASTA said that the views of its membership on the policy are split, and that it would release a survey diving deeper into what its member agents think of the ban.

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow had said that, while his organization recognizes the need to maintain national security, the order could hurt business and leisure travel to the United States.

"Over the past two weeks, our members have voiced their concerns about how an unintended consequence of this executive order could be a reduction in both international leisure and business travel to the United States,” Dow said. “Destinations large and small depend on these visitors to sustain local businesses and jobs.

"That said, we stand with the administration, Congress and law enforcement officials, as we all remain vigilant during an era of constantly changing global security dynamics,” Dow said. “As always, we believe in striking a balance that places a premium on both security and our nation’s history as a welcoming place for travelers from around the globe."

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