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ICTP Chairman: Statement on U.S. President Trump executive order to ban visits for some muslim travelers

ICTP Chairman: Statement on U.S. President Trump executive order to ban visits for some muslim travelers

The chairman of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP)  Juergen T Steinmetz today released a statement on his Facebook in response to the United States issuing a ban on all travel to the U.S. for citizens of Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen.

Later a U.S. Federal Judge today agreed with the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) emergency request and issued a temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban.  However, the executive order banning travel by citizens for the countries targeted by president Trump is still valid for future travel.

Steinmetz said: “I have friends, including some right here on Facebook from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Yemen. This message is for you.

As a US Citizen and a citizen of this truly beautiful global world, I am ashamed for my country and my president, and offer my respect and apology to you.

I am convinced: None of my friends are connected to terrorism and would pose harm to anyone in my country or elsewhere.

I know all of you are welcoming people and you love to host guests in your country, including Americans.

Over the years in my career, I had the pleasure to visit Iran, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen.

I visited the hospitality school in Yemen and met students excited to enter the hospitality business. I spoke at the Islamic Hall of the People in Teheran, met the minister of tourism in Libya in his office, had lunch with the minister of tourism in Syria – yes this may have been before our recent troubled times, but what hasn’t changed:

Almost all of you are hard working travel and tourism professionals.

Some of you have been working to promote and maintain tourism against all odds. I know some of my friends in Iran built their business model in welcoming guests from the U.S. Some display a proud ASTA logo on their storefront window. You welcomed American tourists for many years – and with great success.

I remember when eTN was the only western company that exhibited after September 11’in Iran, some of you lined up for hours at our stand to speak with me. I remember a nice Iranian elderly lady giving me a box of her homemade cookies telling me: “We all love America.”

You will continue to have the support of the global travel and tourism industry, including Americans.

The United States is a welcoming country. Our people are peaceful, friendly and have a big heart. We are proud of our nation. We are a nation of immigrants and come from all corners of the world to expand on our American dream – including me.

It’s illegal in this country to discriminate – so this executive order will not prevail. It hurts not only tourism, business travel, but it hurts our families- and it’s hurting our standing in the world.”

Current ICTP members from the affected countries include members in

Iran: Darwan Tour & Travel Co. Ltd. Shiraz, Fars, Iran
Dr. Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, Iran
International Institute for Research and Development of Special Interest Tourism – SITI 1, Iran
Keyhan Seir Travel Agency, Mashhad, Iran
Iran Doostan Tours, Tehran, Iran
Hamsafaran Mashad Travel Company, Iran

Sudan: 
Intishar for Tourist Patches, Sudan
Travel2Sudan
Ministry of Tourism, Antiques & Wildlife Sudan

Yemen:
Ministry of Tourism Yemen
Yemen Tourism Promotion Board (YTPB)

For more information on the International Coalition of Tourism Partners and how to join visit www.ictp.travel 

 

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