US ‘Europe’ travel ban likely to spark confusion and major disruption

Following the news that the US has suspended arrivals from 26 European countries in a bid to tackle the coronavirus outbreak;

Ralph Hollister, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“With over 1,200 cases in the US, it is unlikely that the virus will be contained. The US Government is advising against all non-essential travel, however, some citizens will still be willing to run the risk. Questions may arise as to why US citizens are still able to travel as they now pose a similar threat to other nations as Europe does to the US.

“To add further confusion, Trump stated the suspension of travel to the US would not apply to the UK, without stating the reasons why. Countries such as Belgium and Austria have fewer cases and deaths than the UK. A lack of reason for this allowance could point to sheer pragmatism. The UK was the top inbound source market from Europe for the US in 2019, with 3.5 million arrivals. GlobalData’s pre-coronavirus projections show that visitation was set to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.5% between 2019 and 2023.This may explain why the UK is exempt.

“A travel ban may be too little too late now that the virus is spreading throughout the global population. Additionally, the disruption from this ban will cause a significant impact on the US travel sector. US travel intermediaries, hotels and airports are examples of industries that will be heavily disrupted. US airlines may be the first to feel a significant impact, due to travel between North America and Europe providing a valuable revenue stream.

“The ban is set to further increase pain for major players in the US. Since mid-February, stocks have taken a significant downturn for United, Delta, and American airlines. This has created a knock on impact for behemoth Boeing, a company which makes a valuable contribution the US economy through employment. The aircraft manufacturer has announced it has frozen hiring due to coronavirus market turmoil.”

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