WHEN President Donald Trump announced his travel ban last month, affecting people from seven majority-Muslim countries, this blog wondered what effect it would have on tourism and business travel to America. “The direct impact to tourism of a travel ban from these countries will be small,” a fellow Gulliver noted, since “each sends a piddling number of visitors to America.” But there was a bigger concern: “Will the decree—easily interpreted as a deep hostility to the world beyond America's shores—put off global travellers?”

Two weeks later, it has become clear that the answer is yes.

Last week, the travel ban was blocked temporarily by a federal judge and the suspension upheld by a panel of appeals court judges. But that hasn’t stopped Mr Trump’s executive order from having an effect on travel to the United States.

Hopper, a market research firm, looked at online searches for flights into America, comparing the final weeks of the Obama administration with the...Continue reading