Olivier Jager: “There has been a ‘Trump Slump’ and the strong dollar has compounded it”

USA. International air arrivals to the USA have fallen consistently since President Donald Trump’s original travel ban on people from several, mainly Muslim, countries. That’s according to the latest data from ForwardKeys, which predicts global travel patterns by analysing millions of daily booking transactions. The period of decline also coincides with a strengthening US Dollar, noted the analyst, which makes the country a more expensive destination.

Since January 27 this year, when the first controversial travel ban was introduced, there has been an overall decline in arrivals of -1.4% compared to the same period last year, according to ForwardKeys. The timeline reveals a correlation between the first travel ban and the start of a decline in travel to the USA.

Meanwhile international arrivals in the rest of the world show an overall increase of +4.6%, with figures climbing consistently over the same period. The decline in travel to the USA comes from around the world – Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Only travel from elsewhere in the Americas has shown growth in the period, alongside Africa (which has a small 2.1% market share of travel to the USA).

Europe – with a 39.4% market share – slumped by -2.3% in the year to the end of September. Asia Pacific – with a 23% market share – was down by -3.8%.

ForwardKeys Co-Founder and CEO, Olivier Jager said: “Our latest detailed findings confirm what our data has been predicting since the first travel ban. There has been a ‘Trump Slump’ and the strong dollar has compounded it. This must be worrying for the US economy – travel is a huge earner for the United States and relative to the rest of the world, its tourism exports are losing ground.

“Whilst disappointed for the USA by the latest travel data, we are relieved that the quality of our analysis last April, which was heavily questioned at the time, has been vindicated.”

The Trump effect: ForwardKeys’ analysis of air arrivals to the USA so far this year