Hotels and airlines in the United States are slashing prices as global tourists avoid the country in response to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, the world’s biggest travel company claimed.
Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of Expedia, the largest online travel agent by gross bookings, warned the U.S. travel industry “is preparing for a turbulent year amid falling international interest in visiting the country,” the Financial Times reported.
The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday appealed a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii extending a suspension of Trump's revised restrictions on travel from some Muslim-majority countries, Reuters reported.
The appeal will be considered by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which last month upheld a suspension of Trump's first travel order.
Trump signed the revised ban earlier this month in a bid to overcome legal problems with a January executive order that caused chaos at airports and sparked mass protests before a Washington judge stopped its enforcement in February.
Trump has said the travel ban is needed for national security.
“I think that because of some of the perceived positions coming out of the current administration, the US as a destination is potentially looking less attractive as a product,” Khosrowshahi told the Financial Times.
“One of two things is going to happen. Either the US 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.”
Meanwhile, according to travel search site Kayak, searches from Europe for flights to the U.S. are down by 12 percent since the elections. However, Germans, some of the world's biggest spenders on travel, have not been deterred, with searches up 10 percent in that period, Kayak said in data provided to Reuters.
To be sure, the American tourism industry reportedly stands to suffer an $18 billion hit during the next two years.
Foreign tourism is a $250 billion-a-year business in the United States, and Trump's original and revised executive orders temporarily banning travel from majority Muslim countries — put on hold by federal courts — have dampened interest worldwide in visiting the U.S., USA Today quoted travel and tourism executives as saying.
(Newsmax wires services contributed to this report).
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