TRENTON — International airfare bookings to Newark Liberty International Airport have fallen by 7 percent since President Donald Trump announced his second executive order denying entry to the U.S. by citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries, according to global travel analysis firm ForwardKeys.
The data provided to NJ Advance Media shows the travel ban has hit Newark Airport harder than other airports around the country. The decline for U.S. airports is 4 percent.
David Tarsh, spokesman for the Valencia, Spain-based travel analysis firm, said ForwardKeys’ findings came from a review of all the major global airfare reservation systems worldwide taken between Feb. 17 — when Trump said he would issue a second executive order — through March 9.
Tarsh noted that while Trump’s second travel ban doesn’t even take effect until just after midnight on March 16, it’s affecting New Jersey’s Newark Airport in deep and unexpected ways.
Tarsh explained that “Newark is doing less well than the U.S. average.” Because of its proximity to New York City, it is viewed internationally as a major New York airport. New York City’s tourism authority on Wednesday announced that it was forecasting 300,000 fewer international travelers and a $600 million loss of revenue to New York businesses catering to tourists.
Tarsh said any unexpected slack in New York’s normally super-tight hotel occupancy rate would spell bad news for Newark’s hotels, too.
If “the blue chip properties in Manhattan suddenly become more available, the spillover to hotels in East Rutherford and near Newark (airport) won’t be as great,” he said.
Maureen Thon, a spokeswoman for Expedia.com, which also owns travel sites Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, trivago, Travelocity and Orbitz, declined to provide data on Newark hotel bookings since Trump’s second travel ban was announced.
Instead, Thon sent remarks from Expedia.com CEO Dara Khosrowshahi made during the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin on Wednesday.
“I think we keep trying to remind (Trump) that the travel business, travel in general, is a force for good but travel is also an enormous economic benefit to the U.S.,” said Khosrowshahi. “It’s our number one service export (and) it accounts for one in eight, one in nine jobs in the United States.”
Leaders of the New Jersey Hotel and Motel Association could not be reached for comment on Friday.
Trump’s new executive order that would ban for 90 days visitors from six Muslim countries and block Syrian refugees for 120 days. He said the new order would replace his original proposal, which also included restrictions on Iraq.
NJ Advance Media staff writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report.
The new Trump travel ban is crushing Newark airport’s international ticket sales – NJ.com