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UN Tourism Body: Revised US Travel Ban Will Still Effect Tourism | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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US President Donald Trump announces his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

United States President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban on citizens of Muslim-majority countries is still expected to curtail tourism.

Trump on Monday signed a revised executive order banning citizens from six Muslim-majority nations from travelling to the United States but removing Iraq from the list, after his controversial first attempt was blocked in the courts.

“People don’t go to places where they don’t feel welcome,” Taleb Rifai, the secretary general of the UN tourism organization, told Reuters, before the world’s biggest travel trade fair, ITB Berlin, opens on Wednesday.

“It’s not about the details of which countries are included, it’s about the attitude,” Rifai said on Tuesday.

International tourist numbers are expected to grow 3 to 4 percent this year from last year’s 1.24 billion, Rifai said on Tuesday.

“The world has opened up in incredible ways. There are so many options now. If you want to gamble, you don’t have to go to Las Vegas, you can go to Macau instead,” he said.

Market researcher Euromonitor has cut its forecast for US arrivals by 2020 to 84.2 million from 85.2 million amid uncertainty over the travel ban. Caroline Bremner, head of travel research at Euromonitor, said the seven countries included in the original travel ban represented only 0.1 percent of total inbound travelers there.

“And so the impact on volume is not going to be as much as the message that the US is sending to business and leisure travelers around the world, about the level of international openness and type of welcome they will receive under the new government,” she said.