The negative impact on international visitors to hurricane-hit Houston and Miami lasted for weeks after the travel plans of thousands of people were disrupted.
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused airports at the cities to be closed, but while it was only a matter of days before they re-opened, the knock-on effect was dramatic.
International arrivals to Houston slumped by 56.9% during the hurricane impact period of August 25-31 and it took six weeks until visitor arrivals returned to pre-hurricane levels.
Miami’s international arrivals fell 36.7% during the hurricane impact period of September 7-17 and it was nine weeks until visitor arrivals returned to pre-hurricane levels.
The analysis of the impact of hurricanes Harvey and Irma has come from ForwardKeys, the company which helps forecast future travel by analysing around 17 million flight booking transactions a day.
Looking at the ten-week period following the hurricanes, both Houston and Miami suffered a double-digit decline in international visitors, with Houston down 11.6% and Miami 12.8%.
International arrivals during the hurricane impact period dropped by 23.4% in Texas and 31.9% in Florida.
Dallas and Austin in Texas benefited when Houston limited its airport operations with international arrivals up by 13.3 % and 23.1% respectively.
However, in the aftermath, travel to all three Texas airports has fallen below pre-hurricane levels.
ForwardKeys chief executive, Olivier Jager, said: “One would not expect the travel disruption caused by even a very bad storm, to a major first-world city, to last more than a few days.
“So, when you see the impact of these hurricanes on international visitor arrivals, enduring for several weeks, it underlines the severity of the damage they caused.”
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