Trump's travel ban will not help tourism: WTTC CEO

Trump's travel ban will not help tourism: WTTC CEO

Investment in the sector totalled Bt245.5 billion, accounting for 7.1 per cent of all investment in the country.

In March, Trump signed a revised executive order, temporarily banning the entry of travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries - Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen - which the President saw as posing a high terrorism threat.

The World Travel and Tourism Council has warned a strong dollar and "anti-foreign sentiment" will adversely affect visitor numbers to the United States this year and has called on President Trump to act immediately.

The improvement also marks the sixth consecutive year the travel and tourism industry outpaced the global economy.

The WTTC's Economic Impact Report 2017 says the U.S. business and leisure travel sector continues to rank number one in the world, representing 20% of the world's travel and tourism GDP contribution, but growth figures are expected to slow down. The new proposed ban has however faced challenges and opposition from more than one federal judge in the U.S.

"(The ban has) sent out a clear message to the world that the U.S.is actually closing, it's not open for business and it's not just the six countries that were targeted - it's actually showing in the advanced bookings around the whole world", Scowsill said. The six countries targeted - not one national of any of those countries has committed an atrocity on USA soil in the last 40 years, so this is not really a security issue, and the message that it sent round is that the U.S.is closing for business.

In terms of regions growing the fastest, Southeast Asia's travel and tourism industry grew by 8.3 percent, followed by South Asia (7.9 percent), North East Asia (4.6 percent), Oceania (4.4 percent), the Caribbean (3.2 percent), North America (3.1 percent), the Middle East (2.7 percent), Sub-Saharan Africa (2.4 percent), Europe (1.6 percent) and Latin America (0.2 percent). "But we are seeing the unintended consequences of this now because the message has gone around the world that the U.S.is not open for business".