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Trump's immigration ban threatens to gut America's trillion-dollar tourism industry

By issuing an executive order on Jan. 27 that banned people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States, President Trump inadvertently paled the appeal of America to many tourists around the world. The travel industry is already feeling the squeeze: Interest in visiting the U.S. has plummeted since Trump's executive order, The New York Times reports.

Hopper, an airfare prediction app, found that between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1, searches for flights from 122 countries to the U.S. dropped more than 17 percent after the travel ban, compared with the first three weeks of the month. Another travel site, Cheapflights.com, saw international searches drop 38 percent from Jan. 27 to 29, compared to the weekend prior. Swedish travel search engine Flygresor.se found by analyzing 2.5 million searches that interest in visiting the United States dropped 47 percent compared to the same period the year prior.

"This drop was more than a seasonal swing," said Cheapflights.com spokeswoman Emily Fisher. "It was most notable in the days right after the ban was enacted."

The consequences, in the long term, are not insignificant. Tourism-related spending in the U.S. was $1.56 trillion in 2015, and the industry created 7.6 million jobs in the U.S. in the same year.

"It doesn't take a lot of uncertainty or adverse sentiment to affect travel decisions," Adam Sacks of Tourism Economics told The New York Times.