In the wake of Donald Trump’s travel ban, youth travel to America has not been as negatively affected as initially feared, according to leading youth travel booking site StudentUniverse.
Just one week into his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order which banned refugees entering America for at least 120 days and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen – for at least 90 days.
The controversial ban sparked a global backlash and a resulting petition to stop Trump’s State Visit to the UK has reached nearly two million signatures.
There was an instant knock to youth interest in travel to the States; during the week immediately following the ban, StudentUniverse saw a 19 per cent drop in bookings from the UK to the US compared to the previous year. A poll of the company’s customers revealed UK students were 82 per cent less interested in visiting or studying in the US following Trump’s inauguration
However, the figures already seem to be recovering; one month on from the travel ban, bookings to the States were down just six per cent year on year.
While bookings to America have suffered slightly following recent events, other destinations are seeing a huge increase in popularity as adventurous students opt to travel further afield. From 27 January to 27 February, the youth travel site saw a huge spike in bookings to Thailand (380 per cent) and Australia (280 per cent).
India (225 per cent), New Zealand (200 per cent) and Bangladesh (200 per cent) also saw a huge increase in bookings as well as Hungary (133 per cent) and Denmark (119 per cent).
Dan Baker, Head of Marketing at StudentUniverse, said: “For many people, the travel ban imposed by President Trump has caused anxiety and concerns about upcoming student travel plans, but we are pleased to see it hasn’t dented students’ desires to travel. America is a fascinating and fun destination so it’s great to see young people are still enticed by all it has to offer. StudentUniverse exists to make global experiences possible and we wholeheartedly support the world being an open book for travel, adventure and exploration.”
StudentUniverse is the world’s leading travel booking site for students and youth. Through negotiations with a network of global partners, StudentUniverse offers discounted pricing and terms on flights, hotels and tours. Its Travel Services division also handles complex itineraries, custom designed gap year experiences and group travel requests.
For more information visit www.studentuniverse.co.uk