Donald Trump’s executive order to re-evaluate immigration and refugee policy and practices was signed on January 27th. Immediately, the order was rebranded by the public as the ‘Travel Ban’ or the ‘Muslim Ban.’ Chaos ensued. There was little to no preparation for the executive order to actually be executed. Families were left in immigration purgatory, visas were canceled, and protests erupted at airports across the world.
Still, the effect on the US (and yes, our economy) loomed. It was bad PR in a PR-savvy industry. Almost overnight, flight aggregators saw a downturn in searches to the US from abroad. Citizens of the world made it clear that they were rethinking visits to America. There was still a chance that it was just posturing — something akin to a spike in searches about how to move to Canada on November 9th — but the tea leaves seemed to read a little differently this time. It’s a lot easier to change a trip than it is to move a family.