Travel group urges Trump to include ‘welcome message’ in new executive order

Travel group urges Trump to include ‘welcome message’ in new executive order
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A leading travel group is calling on the Trump administration to include a “welcome message” in the president’s new executive order on immigration and refugees, after the initial policy sparked widespread confusion and chaos at airports around the country.

President Trump is expected to issue a new temporary travel ban this week that will be tailored to address the objections of a federal appeals court.

The U.S. Travel Association is asking the administration to clearly outline who remains welcome to visit the country and to emphasize that the U.S. values legitimate international business and leisure travelers.

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The plea comes amid mounting concerns that the initial order, which temporarily barred travelers from seven majority Muslim countries as well as refugees, has had a broad chilling effect on the demand for international and business travel to the U.S.

A report from the Global Business Travel Association found that the ban may have cost $185 million in business-travel bookings before it was put on hold by federal judge.

"Security is a top priority for the U.S. travel community, but it's critical to balance both sides of the ledger: make clear who is not welcome, but also who remains welcome," said Roger Dow, the group’s president and CEO. "Not doing so would be to double-down on doubts, discontent and division that risk significant economic harm."

The original policy would have prohibited travelers from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days, suspended the U.S. refugee resettlement program for 120 days and banned Syrian refugees indefinitely.

The revised policy is expected to exempt legal permanent residents and people who already hold visas to come to the U.S.

After Trump signed the original travel ban, travelers were detained and stranded at airports around the country amid mass confusion over whom the policy applied to.

"As a businessman and hospitality entrepreneur, it is safe to say he never intended to discourage legitimate travelers from coming to the U.S.,” Dow said. Trump “has a golden opportunity to address some unintended consequences of his initial travel order when he reissues it in the coming days. Neither he, nor the U.S. economy, can afford to squander it."