Travel ban ‘puts US economy at risk’

Peak US travel industry body the GBTA has revealed the impact Trump’s travel ban has already had on the country’s business travel sector. 

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.

In a comment piece written by Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO, it was revealed that in the week following the initial ban, approximately $185 million in business travel bookings were lost as the uncertainty surrounding travel in general had a rippling effect on traveller confidence.

“Given that for every 1 percent impact on business travel spending annually, the United States gains or loses 71,000 jobs, nearly $5 billion in GDP, $3 billion in wages and $1.2 billion in tax collections, a loss in business travel also leaves a lasting negative impact on our economy,” he wrote.

“Every quarter, GBTA releases a U.S. business travel forecast providing projections for the next two years for prospects for domestic and international outbound business travel for the United States. In our last forecast released in October, we noted that ongoing global uncertainty and added heartburn from a presidential election unlike any we had ever seen were causing many businesses to stay in a holding pattern, taking an extremely cautious wait-and-see approach and begging the question of whether many of these companies would be ready when growth picked up.

“The current state of uncertainty over the travel ban could cause a similar impact on business travel. The Trump administration has announced they are working on a new executive order that is expected to be released soon. It is still unclear if President Trump will rescind the original order, which is currently on hold after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s injunction,” he continued.

“International outbound business travel was already identified as a weak point for the U.S. business travel market in our outlook before news of the travel ban was released. The biggest driver of our economic recovery of the past seven years from the most recent downturn was international outbound travel as U.S. businesses found top line growth and business opportunity from new markets all over the world. It seems clear that this is an area presidential policies should work to bolster rather than diminish.

“Cancelled business trips are typically not rescheduled, so every business trip cancelled results in permanently lost travel industry revenues, decreased future employment rates and lost economic benefit to our country.”

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