PHOTO: Interest in travel to the U.S. continues to decline. (Photo via Flickr/Michael Vadon)
Travel to the U.S. is expected to be a hot topic at travel conferences taking place in Berlin this week, especially with a new, updated travel ban and reports that inbound travel to the U.S. is on the decline.
Analysis from ForwardKeys indicates that flight reservations to the U.S. continue to decline, according to a report in Reuters. Travel to and from Middle Eastern countries has been hit the hardest, likely as a direct result of the travel ban.
"Uncertainty reigns and the presidential rhetoric appears to be deterring visitors to the U.S.," ForwardKeys founder Olivier Jager said in a statement.
Despite the rhetoric coming from the Trump administration, some sectors are not taking as much of a hit as air travel.
"The comments and actions of the new Trump administration are not helpful, but we're not seeing the data that would suggest they've been terribly harmful," Arne Sorenson told Reuters in Berlin on the sidelines of the IHIF hotels conference.
ForwardKeys’ most recent research shows that, while travel to the U.S. picked up after the travel ban was rescinded, overall bookings are down 0.4 percent whereas they had been up 3.4 percent before the travel ban.
Bookings to the Middle East were also up at the beginning of the year, 12 percent higher than at the same time last year. Now, in the four weeks following the ban, they are down 27 percent.
Airlines have yet to see the effects of these drops, however.
READ MORE: Trump Slump: Travel Ban Having Immediate Repercussions
"We’re not seeing any evidence of any particular decline in (travel to the U.S.) but we’re always worried about how other countries feel about entering our country," United's Oscar Munoz told Reuters.
Research on Kayak mimics ForwardKeys’ analysis, showing a drop in searches from Europe by 12 percent, with the exception of Germans, who are actually searching flights to the U.S. with increased frequency.