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The Trump effect: Is Donald to blame for French tourists snubbing the US?

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The Trump effect: Is Donald to blame for French tourists snubbing the US?
New York. Photo: Stiller Beobachter/Flickr
17:16 CET+01:00
Since Donald Trump was elected President of the US, the French have been put off travelling to America, the stats suggest.
Time for a trip to New York or Las Vegas?
 
Not right now, many French appear to be saying, as data suggest they have been shying away from booking trips to the US since Trump was elected in November. 
 
Statistics from the French arm of travel booking site Kayak that were sent to The Local revealed that the French were less likely to search for flights to the US compared to their European neighbours.
 
Since the 8th of November, when Trump won the presidential election, flight searches from France to the US decreased by 14 percent versus the same period last year.
 
This compares to just an 8 percent drop in the EU for the same period (November 8th to Jan 29th) the company said. 
 
And the drop has been even more marked since Trump took power and started implementing, or at least trying to, some of his controversial policies.
 
One particularly big drop came after news of Trump's so-called Muslim travel ban late last month. 
 
On the day of the ban, flight searches from France to the US were down 24 percent compared to any other day in January 2017. They were only down 5 percent in the EU, compared to normal, travel site Kayak told The Local.  
 
Taking the whole weekend of the ban into account - Friday to Sunday - France saw an 11 percent drop in searches compared to zero change for the EU. 
 
And the French aren't shy to say it, either. 
 
One survey carried out directly after the election found that 20 percent of French travellers said they were "less likely to visit" the US.
 
Other travel sites paint a similar picture, reported Europe 1 radio
 
Liligo reported a 30 percent drop for French searches for US trips since the start of the year. 
 
The SNAV union for travel agent added that leisure trips were down 2 to 3 percent compared to January last year. 
 
The president of the groups, Jean-Pierre Mas, said that it was a very different picture to when Barack Obama was elected president. 
 
"We were seeing an increased amount of interest from the French towards the US," he told Europe 1.
 
"But now it seems like there is a kind of reluctance to go to the US since the election of Donald Trump."
 
A spokesperson for flight comparison site Skyscanner told The Local however that the US remained the third most popular country for flight bookings from France. 
 
The spokesperson warned against drawing conclusions too early saying it was necessary to wait for a longer period before we could see any real trend in the French turning their backs on the US.

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