Back in November, The Five took a look at why countries are being so welcoming to U.S. tourists in spite of President Trump’s travel ban that still had a lot of legal challenges left.
The travel ban has been dropped as a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court was overturned, however citizens from six Muslim-majority countries still face a ban and travelers with dual citizenship from those countries — Syria, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan — face additional screening.
Here is a summary of some ways countries have been welcoming travelers back in May:
Singapore: The country has only banned one type of travelers since the travel ban, and Americans were exceptions. The island-nation has been welcoming visitors and says it has seen a 250 percent increase in American tourist arrivals so far this year, with the idea of building on a boom in foreign visitors.
While the U.S. has been officially no longer on the list, Singapore also currently has a one-off air travel deal in place through AirAsia that allows individuals from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines to fly directly to Singapore from different Southeast Asian countries without having to purchase a visa.
But that has to be applied for separately, and is subject to restrictions.
Saudi Arabia: The country, which included the U.S. on its travel ban list, said it will be removing any U.S. visitors from the restricted category and fully granting all U.S. passports. Saudis are allowed in and will no longer have to apply for visas and will no longer have to answer more questions on arrival. It will also ease entry from any of the six countries on the travel ban list.
Though the president has rolled back the travel ban, Saudi Arabia’s new visa system requires applicants to specify which country they are from, and charges a processing fee of $700 for applicants from Saudi Arabia.
The region is seeing an increase in tourism numbers. Yemen now sees around 14,000 travelers per month, as well as an increase in Saudi visitors.
While Yemen remains inaccessible, Saudi Arabia recently started shipping visitors to neighboring Djibouti via Oman. And while Morocco is still not open to tourists and was not a party to the legal case that overturned the travel ban, is looking at a two-week temporary reopening of its Schengen visa-free zone.
Saudi Arabian Airlines and Saudia airlines are continuing to fly to Djibouti.
The UAE, which is also not a party to the current travel ban case, has the largest visa programs in the world. Travelers from around the world who have UAE visas can do an online visa waiver with Emirates, fly Emirates to Dubai and then flying to Accra or Accra International Airport.
Also, while the Maldives is still not allowing Americans into the country on a visa-free basis, it is open to every other country with a visa waiver arrangement, including the UAE. It, too, is offering free flights to holiday destinations in the Caribbean.
Turkey: Despite Turkey’s membership in the European Union, its tourist sector is declining and just one family holiday company said the travel ban is hurting it. However, the country is joining a global alliance, enabling its citizens to travel by visa without taking out separate airline tickets, and is offering free travel during festivals.
Syria: In May, the government in Damascus began issuing Syrian-issued passports to its citizens. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian passport holders were unable to travel under U.S. sanctions, and some visitors have had to purchase separate tickets with hotels and airlines for fear of not being allowed back into the country. The Damascus government is officially letting nationals enter through checkpoints on the road to Damascus, with the aim of also opening embassies throughout the country.
KSA: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been open to accepting American passport holders and will no longer require them to take out visas on arrival and will treat everyone on the same footing. KSA residents will still have to apply for a visa, however, and the government is also continuing with its visa waiver system to Syrians.
There has been some backlash in the U.S. as some on social media have slammed the country’s visa inclusions.
Visa waivers have not been agreed to by many Middle Eastern nations, though KSA said it will participate in the visa waiver arrangement currently in place with those on the blacklist — as will United Arab Emirates.
Jordan: Despite its close ties to the U.S., Jordan has been not allowing American passport holders into the country as part of the travel ban. Despite pressure, Jordan is open to those who apply, who may receive a visa if they are referred for monitoring purposes by Jordanian authorities. In the meantime, they cannot enter the country or have business opportunities at its airports.
Mexico: As the new