Reports coming out of the US of hostile border security officers and denial of entry to legitimate visa holders is enough to make you rethink booking a holiday to America.
And according to figures released by the Global Business Travel Association, many people are doing just that.
There was a 17 per cent drop off in bookings to the US across the board in the weeks since Donald Trump’s inauguration, resulting in an estimated loss of $185 million to the global travel industry.
But if you’ve booked or have been planning a vacation to the States and are wondering whether you should cancel, you shouldn’t give up your American dream just yet– here’s why.
Australian travellers aren’t affected by the travel ban
US officials recently confirmed that Australian citizens, including those that have dual nationality in one of the seven countries on Trump’s proposed ban list, will not be affected by the recent changes.
A report of a Melbourne school boy that has both Australian and Iranian citizenship being denied a visa to go on a school excursion to America was the result of a mistake at the US Consulate and was corrected.
There is anecdotal evidence that some travellers have been questioned extensively when arriving at US borders recently, but provided you’re just there for a holiday, have the correct visa (most Australians can enter the US on the ESTA/Visa Waiver Program) and have a return flight home, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be bothered.
Don’t punish the locals
Polls have shown the majority of Americans are not in favour of the anti-immigration legislation the Trump administration is proposing, and especially not tourism industry professionals, who deal with people from all over the world.
Tour guides, hotel staff and bar and restaurant workers are still as friendly towards tourists as ever, and it’s them who’ll be punished if you choose to holiday elsewhere.
If you’ve ever travelled to Bali, Mexico or Thailand, you’ll know that just because you don’t agree with something a country’s government does doesn’t mean the people won’t be warm, welcoming and hospitable, and their business deserving of your tourist dollars.
Flight prices to the US could drop
If the number of travellers to the US continues to decline it’ll hit airlines hard, and they’ll likely announce some sales to lure tourists back. Keep an eye on Qantas, United Airlines, Delta and American Airlines in the coming months for a deal.
There’s nowhere else like it
Sure, you could head somewhere else for your holiday.
But if seeing the view from the Empire State Building, or going to a Broadway play, or flying over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter, or experiencing the beauty of Yellowstone National Park, or falling in and out of live music venues in Nashville, or eating barbecue and deep fried food in the south … or any of the other incredible things to do in the US are on your bucket list, you can’t tick them off anywhere else.
So don’t let Donald Trump – or anything for that matter – stop you.