The US travel ban has led to uncertainty among travellers and a plea for the trade to promote the destination.
Wot Travel in Twickenham lost a lucrative corporate booking after a group of British medical professionals pulled out of a conference in the US.
Owner Paul Smith said: “They all had stamps in their passports after recently visiting Iran so decided not to go. If many other customers act like this, the ramifications for our industry will be considerable.”
Claire Hunt-Bell, operations director at Journeys à la Carte, said: “We’ve had a client ask to ‘pause’ his holiday to see what happens.”
Stephen Rhodes, managing director of Funway Holidays, believed Brits would continue to travel to the US but admitted: “We’re in the peak booking period so headlines implying there might be an issue are not helpful.”
Cheapflights reported a week‑on-week drop of 15% in travel searches for the US after Trump’s first week in office.
Managing director Andrew Shelton said it was too early to declare a ‘Trump Slump’. But he said: “If this continues, the US tourism authorities shouldn’t necessarily presume Brits will think ‘America First’.”
Guy Novik, chief executive of USAirtours, called on the industry to unite behind the message that the US is “safe and welcoming”.
He said USAirtours had been contacted by worried agents and holidaymakers with bookings, adding: “We’ve had calls from people who are Muslim or from an ethnic background and who have their Esta [visa waiver form] but are concerned.”
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