US travel ban to impact MICE bookings: GBTA

European companies are turning their backs on the US, says travel body

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, polled its US and European members this week to assess the business travel impact of President Trump’s revised executive order on travel. 

US President Donald Trump's travel ban has been slammed by the US tourism industry.
US President Donald Trump’s travel ban has been slammed by the US tourism industry.

Nearly 4 in 10 (37 percent) U.S. business travel professionals expect some level of reduction in their company’s travel because of the revised executive order. Even more European travel professionals felt this way with 47 percent expecting some level of reduction in business travel for their company. Additionally, 17 percent of European travel professionals reported that their company has already cancelled business travel to the United States because of the executive orders issued.

Thirty-eight percent of European business travel professionals said their company’s would be less willing to send business travelers to the United States in the future because of the executive order and 45 percent indicated their company will be less willing to plan future meetings and events in the United States.

“There is always the risk that closing our borders sends the message that the United States is closed for business, and the results of this poll show the perception of the United States as a welcoming destination for business travel has been altered,” said Michael W. McCormick.

“As we always say, security is paramount, but GBTA continues to be a proponent for expanding proven security programs and developing new technology to facilitate information-sharing among governments to ensure travellers are always vetted properly, making us all more safe and secure.”

Additional findings from the polls

44 percent of European travel professionals reported their organisation currently has employees traveling abroad who might be or are affected by the current travel ban.

20 percent of European travel professionals reported there are directives within their organisation to cancel or delay travel of employees who are nationals of countries included in the ban.

U.S. travel professionals cited potential for countries to respond to this ban, making travel more difficult for U.S. travelers (51 percent), complications in travel to the United States (44 percent) and increased threats against U.S. travelers abroad (41 percent) as their top concerns for lasting impacts of the travel ban. These numbers were all marginally down from our poll following the announcement of the first travel ban in January where they were at 63 percent, 56 percent and 54 percent respectively.

U.S. travel professionals expressed similar levels of support and opposition for the revised travel ban as they did for the original one. Just over half (52 percent) of the travel professionals surveyed strongly or somewhat oppose this action, while 35 percent strongly or somewhat support it, compared to 50 percent and 38 percent, respectively, in our initial poll.

When asked about top concerns regarding the immigration ban on your travellers, increased traveler harassment in general (41 percent), uncertainty regarding green card and approved visa credibility to enter the United States (34 percent), and harassment of U.S. travellers to and from the Middle East (34 percent) topped the list. More than one-third (34 percent), however, didn’t share any of the concerns listed.

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