US social media rules would deter 80% of Irish visitors

Eight in 10 Irish people say they would probably not visit the US if the proposed new border rules take effect.

It comes as countries visiting the US could be forced to reveal social media passwords, mobile phone contacts, political ideologies, and financial data under new “extreme vetting” rules proposed by the Trump administration.

A survey of more than 1,000 people by travel search engine Kayak found 78% of Irish people said they would likely not visit the US if the rules came into force, with 38% stating they would definitely not visit.

A total of 69% said the new rules would be an “invasion of privacy”, while over half (51% said they would simply refuse to comply with these rules. Another 31% said they would “not feel comfortable” sharing this level of personal information.

When asked what concerns they would have in handing over passwords, 37% said they were worried someone would post something on their account, 39% were worried they could mess with settings, for example deleting contacts, and 54% cited concerns over officials gaining access to their bank details.

Travel analyst with Kayak Suzanne Perry said the move could have an impact on an already struggling US tourism industry.

“The new presidency and the border control rules that have already been introduced have had a very negative impact on demand for travel to the US from a global perspective,” she said.

“As the research shows, introducing further rules such as requiring visitors to hand over social media passwords would have a strong, additional impact on Irish holidaymakers’ likelihood to visit the country and could have further negative consequences for the US tourism industry as a whole.”

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