Mid­dle East trav­ellers to US down 20% says Mar­riott boss

Travel and lap­top bans tar­get­ing Mus­lim na­tions ‘not good’ claims Arne Soren­son…

Travel Daily ME - - News -

Travel to the US from the Mid­dle East has plum­meted at least 20%, ac­cord­ing to the world’s largest ho­tel op­er­a­tor.

Speak­ing to me­dia in Dubai, Mar­riott In­ter­na­tional pres­i­dent and CEO Arne Soren­son said Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s travel bans tar­get­ing Mus­lim na­tions were “not good” and had thwarted de­mand. “The travel bans are not good, pe­riod,” Soren­son said at the St Regis Ho­tel in Al Habtoor City, Dubai. “We do be­lieve that travel to the United States out of the Mid­dle East is down in ex­cess of 20% and we think travel to the US from Mex­ico is down be­tween 10-20%. And that’s not sur­pris­ing; those are the mar­kets where the po­lit­i­cal noise in the US is the most au­di­ble.”

The US has also banned the use of elec­tronic de­vices such as tablets and lap­tops on board any flight trav­el­ling from coun­tries in­clud­ing the UAE and Qatar.

Cit­i­zens of six Mus­lim na­tions in the Mid­dle East and Africa also are banned from en­try into the coun­try.

Soren­son said it was too early to make a pre­cise as­sess­ment of the im­pact but he ex­pected it to hit leisure trav­ellers.

The air­lines most af­fected by the bans in­clud­ing Emi­rates, Eti­had Air­ways and Qatar Air­ways, are lend­ing lap­tops to Busi­ness and First class pas­sen­gers/

“Our an­tic­i­pa­tion is that the travel bans are likely to have a more pro­found im­pact on dis­cre­tionary travel than on busi­ness travel.

Dis­cre­tionary leisure travel tends to be more sea­sonal, it also tends to have a longer book­ing win­dow, and so we’re go­ing to need to have a few months be­fore we re­ally can as­sess how pro­found the im­pact is,” Soren­son said. Click here for full story

Arne Soren­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bahrain

© PressReader. All rights reserved.