As Donald Trump readies his revamped travel ban, new figures show demand for travel to the US has slowed after a promising start to the year.
Overall, travel bookings to the US over the next three months are down 0.4 per cent on last year. However, the day before Trump's travel ban was imposed, bookings were up 3.4 per cent, data from travel analysis firm ForwardKeys shows.
In the eight days following the US President signing his executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries in January, international travel to the US dropped by 6.5 per cent as potential visitors were turned off by the strict order.
ForwardKeys, which analyses 16 million flight reservations a day from major global reservation systems, said bookings to the US regained some ground after US courts blocked the ban - but they immediately dropped again in the days following Trump's announcement of a new ban last month.
"Uncertainty reigns and the presidential rhetoric appears to be deterring visitors to the US," said ForwardKeys founder Oliver Jager.
Accumulated US bookings to the Middle East were up by 12 per cent on 2015 in the three weeks before the ban, but in the four weeks following they were down 27 per cent.
Trump is expected to issue a new version of his executive order today, according to reports. The new order will exclude Iraq from the ban and temporarily halt the admission of all refugees to the US - removing the extra restrictions set on Syrian refugees. That could help the order stand up to legal scrutiny, the New York Times reported yesterday.
A senior administration official told the Times Iraq was removed from the ban after secretary of state Rex Tillerson discussed vetting measures with the Iraqi government.
The new ban will also not affect people with green cards or those holding a visa at the time the order is signed.