What travel ban? Despite concerns that President Trump's proposed temporary travel ban from six countries would have a chilling effect on American tourism, just the opposite is happening. The latest report from the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) shows that international travel to the U.S. rose by four percent in April compared with the same month a year ago. And that came as a surprise to many in the industry. "Despite the mounting impediments to travel to the U.S., it actually turns out that inbound tourism to the country rose in the month of April," says Greg Staley, USTA spokesman. "It means that more international visitors came here than expected, and it really defied the expectations."
President Trump's travel ban is currently held up in the courts pending a review in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, even the threat of such a ban appears to be having no impact on people coming here from all over the world. "We have high numbers of travelers coming from Canada, from Latin America, from Asia, from the U.K., Germany and the Western European markets," says Staley. He tells KTRH the outlook for the rest of 2017 is also positive. "We expect (the numbers) will weaken slightly, as well as some decline from Mexico, but overall the numbers should be very steady and very measured year-over-year," says Staley.
Overall, the USTA projects total U.S. travel volume to grow by a monthly average of 1.8 percent year-over-year through October. "We want to continue to express a message of welcome, and that international travelers are welcome to visit us here in the United States," says Staley.