US tourism begins to return amid new travel ban

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The US launched a partial travel ban in March last year Tourism and business expansion has returned to the US amid signs it could be excluded from a…

US tourism begins to return amid new travel ban

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The US launched a partial travel ban in March last year

Tourism and business expansion has returned to the US amid signs it could be excluded from a new travel ban.

Small- and medium-sized American firms reported they were back in business, while new visitors to the country continued to arrive at rates “almost back to pre-ban levels”.

The news follows Donald Trump’s signing of an executive order seeking to revive parts of his controversial travel ban.

Mr Trump is calling the reinstatement of the Muslim-majority ban “ultimately successful”.

The new restrictions only impact six countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Instead of being banned from travelling to the US altogether, people from those countries can now be barred for 90 days if they have “close family members” already living there.

The order also extends existing sanctions on North Korea and Venezuela.

Despite the revisions, the new travel ban is expected to spark widespread criticism from rights groups and lawmakers.

Congress and civil rights organisations will continue to try to block the order, hoping to persuade US courts that the restrictions are too sweeping.

Past temporary travel bans on nationals from several Muslim-majority countries have provoked protests.

President Trump imposed a ban on travellers from some Muslim-majority countries in the wake of a terror attack in France.

However, a US federal judge blocked the ban in November, declaring it was unconstitutional.

Mr Trump has pushed for broader restrictions on travel to the US since he took office in January 2017.

In March last year, the US began a partial travel ban on citizens from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The new restrictions were unveiled in a far-reaching executive order to “protect the national security of the United States” – although the legal experts say the travel ban is being lifted only in part due to fears about the country’s image abroad.

Leave a Comment