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UNWTO statement on US travel ban

The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, expresses its deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America (USA) to nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen).

The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA.

“Global challenges demand global solutions and the security challenges that we face today should not prompt us to build new walls; on the contrary, isolationism and blind discriminatory actions will not lead to increased security but rather to growing tensions and threats”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

“Besides the direct  impact, the image of a country which imposes travel bans in such a hostile way will surely be affected among visitors from all over the world and risk dumping travel demand to the USA” added Mr Rifai.

WTTC comment on President Trump’s executive order banning travel from 7 countries
David Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), said: “The Executive Order issued by US President Trump on 27 January 2017 banning travel to the US from seven countries for 90 days goes directly against the fundamental right of Freedom to Travel. It has created immense confusion among travellers and travel companies worldwide.”

WTTC believes that all people have the right to cross international borders safely and efficiently for business and tourism purposes. The blanket suspension of admittance of travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen to the US flies against this principle. Suspending travel based only on a person’s nationality or their origin is wrong. 

Many travellers have been unnecessarily disrupted, due to the unclear nature of the Executive Order, coupled with a lack of prior consultation and poor communication to airlines and border officials.

“If this move by the Trump Administration is designed to ‘prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals’, it is important to point out that the vast majority of terrorist attacks in the recent past have been perpetrated by home grown, radicalised nationals of the country involved. None of the shocking domestic incidents in the US since 2001 have been attributed to external terrorists who have specifically flown into the country to commit an atrocity. Preventing ‘aliens’ from entering the US for legitimate business or leisure purposes is misguided and counter-productive for the American economy.

Travel & Tourism bridges divides between cultures, fosters understanding across religious and geographic boundaries, and generates more peaceful co-existence. Our sector is responsible for the livelihoods of millions worldwide. The US has suffered in the past from similar isolationist policies. We urge the Trump Administration to reconsider this ban.”

News Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Angelos is the news editor for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). His role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy.

He currently studies Communication, Media & Culture in Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens.

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