Monday 20 February 2017 5:30 am

Brits plan to ditch US holidays for Canada and Mexico as the President causes a Trump slump in travel


I mainly cover transport and infrastructure, along with workplace diversity. You can email me on Rebecca.smith@cityam.com with stories and commentary.

I mainly cover transport and infrastructure, along with workplace diversity. You can email me on Rebecca.smith@cityam.com with stories and commentary.

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Much has been made about the Trump bump on Wall Street, but over in the UK there's been something of a Trump slump when it comes to US travel.

So says global flight platform Cheapflights, which has found that just under a third of Brits have been put off holidaying in the US because of President Trump's actions since taking office.

And in some good news for Justin Trudeau, the site's survey of 2,000 people found Canada had become a more appealing alternative holiday destination for 28 per cent of respondents as a result.

Read more: Trudeau promises not to "lecture" the US over Trump's travel ban

The President's controversial travel ban in particular has stirred up protests across the globe – on 27 January, Trump signed an executive order halting all refugee admissions and temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries. It prompted a legal fight with Trump saying he is considering issuing a new executive order instead of taking the case to the Supreme Court.

And Cheapflights has noted that Brits reconsidering holiday plans will have quite a financial hit – it said if all of these people took their travels elsewhere next year, the estimated cost to the US economy would exceed $1.5bn.

The Trump slump has been reflected in searches for flights to the US from the UK too. Cheapflights said searches have seen an average weekly fall of 13 per cent since Trump entered the White House, and are down 10 per cent on where they were this time last year.

And alternative destinations – notably Mexico, are getting something of a Trump bump. Demand to the country was up 22 per cent, while the Caribbean, Canada and Thailand also up on this time last year.

Read more: See you in court: The best Twitter reactions to ruling on Trump travel ban


“A significant number of Brits have been spooked by what they see happening over the pond, and are beginning to vote with their clicks as they explore alternative options for travel in 2017," said Andrew Shelton, managing director at Cheapflights. "At the height of the travel ban furore earlier this month, searches dropped almost 20 per cent week on week – against an overall increase of demand to our sites and apps of 19 per cent compared to this time last year."

“With UK travellers contributing nearly $5bn a year to the US economy, tourism chiefs in the country should take note of what could be a substantial reduction in support for a major industry there," he added.

 

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