US visitor decline blamed on ‘Trump slump’ and weak pound

The weak pound and a “Trump slump” are being blamed for a slum in British travellers to the US.

The number of UK visitors to the US fell by 17% year on year in January, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The pound has fallen by about 15% against the dollar, compared with its value before the Brexit vote, with £1 now worth only $1.25.

In total, 230,000 Britons travelled to the US in January 2017, compared with 276,000 in January 2016.

The ONS report appears to confirm travel industry concerns that President Trump’s election would harm tourism to the US.

According to the ONS, visits to the US generally rise in January when compared with December but this year there was an 8% drop.

Overall, the number of people travelling abroad rose by 9% year-on-year, with 4.6 million Britons leaving the country in January.

European countries benefited the most from the drop in travel to North America, with a 12% increase over January 2016.

The ONS data takes into account both holidays and business trips.

An Abta spokesman told The Times: “Since last summer’s Brexit vote and the fall in the exchange rate, we have seen a slide in bookings to the US.

“But they are definitely falling further and more sharply since Trump came into power.”

Before the presidential election last year, a poll by Travelzoo found that 31% of Britons said that they would reconsider travel to the US if Trump won, while 20% said that they would not go on holiday in America.

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