Published on Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Inbound US flight searches down since Trump travel ban

Travel demand to the US has significantly cooled since Donald Trump signed the controversial travel ban. 
Flight data analysts Hopper said commercial airline flight searches from other countries to the US is down 17%.
While on the face of it, it is not a huge drop, any reduction shortly after an election is rare, said Patrick Surry, chief data strategist at Hopper.
"What is surprising to us is that you usually see an increase in flight searches after an event, even terrorist attacks, as people look to rebook flights but in this case, there is simply a drop."
Searches were down from 94 out of 122 countries.
Searches for China-US flights were down by one-third and from Australia by 25%.
"It's hard to know exactly why flight searches to the US have fallen off, but I think the perception is the door is closing and the US is not as welcoming," Surry said.
One county that has bucked the trend, unsurprisingly, is Russia.
Searches from Russia are up a massive 88% since the election.
"I can't speak to what's causing the interest in Russia, but that increase definitely jumped out at us since search demand is down in so many other countries," said Surry.
Hopper says it has analyzes 3.5 billion price and itinerary searches so far this year.
The American Society of Travel Agents says the travel ban and the ensuing confusion is hitting members' business.
"The way this was implemented and all of the confusion it created is having a clear impact beyond people coming in from these seven countries. It's having a chilling effect," said Eben Peck, senior vice president of government and industry affairs.

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