US President Donald Trump's revised travel ban has been delayed until next week, but the effects of its precursor are already being felt in America's tourism industry as British tourists cut back their visits.
The latest numbers from the travel website Cheapflights show a 13% drop in searches for flights from the UK to the US since Trump's inauguration in late January. Holiday enquiries are down 10% from the same period in 2016.
"A month into the new presidency and fears of the so-called 'Trump slump' seem to be taking substance," said Cheapflights' managing director Andrew Shelton in a release. "With UK travellers contributing nearly $5 billion a year to the US economy, tourism chiefs in the country should take note of what could be a substantial reduction in support for a major industry there."
Earlier this month data from tourism market analysts ForwardKeys showed a 6.5% drop globally in flight bookings to the US in the eight days following Trump's travel ban executive order targeting travellers from seven Muslim-majority nations, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The data was gathered from the 16 million flight reservations made daily.
Signed on 27 January, Trump's executive order blocked people from those countries from entering the US for 90 days and stopped the resettlement of refugees. The order was itself declared unlawful by a US federal court. But a revamped version is being drafted and is now expected next week.
Fifteen US states supporting Washington and Minnesota's challenge of the ban argued in a legal brief they were losing tax revenues from tourists and business travellers as a result of Trump's executive order.
In 2016 international visitors to the US spent more than $247.1 billion on travel and tourism to the US, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office, which announced the figures on Wednesday 22 February. Tourist spending reached record levels in 2015, and the numbers represented a 0.4% improvement.
Shelton added: "A range of alternative destinations appear to be mopping up the demand that the US is potentially leaking, with Canada topping the list of holiday hot spots that have become more appealing to British travellers than the US since Trump entered the White House, followed by The Caribbean, Mexico and Thailand."