Published on Monday, January 30, 2017
The UK travel trade needs to put out a 'co-ordinated message' that the US is welcoming and open for business.
USAirtours CEO Guy Novik said the announcement at the weekend that President Donald Trump has issued an Executive Order imposing a temporary travel ban on people from seven mainly Muslim countries had caused 'unnecessary concern and confusion'.
ABTA, meanwhile, is awaiting official confirmation from the Foreign Office that the travel ban does not affect British people with dual nationality. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is due to make a statement this afternoon.
Novik said: "The US having safe, secure borders is good for business. However, the way the President has enacted this, which appears to be without due planning has caused unnecessary concern and confusion.
"We are concerned and feel the travel industry needs to put out a collective message that the US is welcoming and open for business.
"The travel industry can't control what comes out of the White House but it can control its own message - and there needs to be a co-ordinated message.
"Specialist tour operators, tourist boards and anybody else promoting the US should be going out of their way to ensure over the coming weeks and months that they put out the message that America is welcoming. We will be amending our sales and marketing to include the message that America is open for tourists and we will be actively encouraging our suppliers, tourist boards, airlines and hotel partners to do the same."
Novik added: "When the news first broke, there were all sorts of issues and uncertainty. We haven't had any response so far from concerned customers - but the information only broke over the weekend.
"The Foreign Office has said it doesn't affect British nationals or dual nationals. But some damage has been done and the industry must attempt to put it right."
The Foreign Office has updated its advice in light of the travel ban to say: "Temporary immigration measures are in place affecting British nationals who hold dual nationality with
"You'll need prior authorisation to enter the
The Trump administration said the temporary ban was already a 'massive success', but there have been protests around the US and elsewhere, with protests also planned in the UK.
Judges in at least five US states have blocked federal authorities from enforcing the order.
A petition calling for Trump to be prevented from making a state visit to the UK has reached over a million signatures.
US Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow said: "We recognise the new administration's desire to review visa issuance protocols with respect to countries that have a heightened risk of terrorist activity or weak law enforcement cooperation with our government.
"We urge the administration to conduct this review quickly, and trust that it will yield an even more secure travel security system that protects international travellers and welcomes them into our country to conduct business and to enjoy our cities, attractions, national parks and landmarks."
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