A trio of surveys suggest that president Donald Trump’s attempt to block travel from seven Muslim-majority countries into the US may depress business travel overall.
Thirty-one percent of US companies say the ban could reduce travel in the next three months, according to a report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), with 28 per cent expecting a long-term negative impact as well.
“The economy will certainly take a hit,” says Michael W. McCormick, executive director and COO of the GBTA. “While we understand the need for security, GBTA is a strong proponent of risk-based security programs like the Visa Waiver programme. By facilitating travel and trade with 38 countries, the Visa Waiver programme spurs job creation and economic growth, while remaining the gold standard of security and efficiency in balancing the need to protect the American public while facilitating global business travel. We hope to have the opportunity to work with the [Trump] administration going forward to form policies that ensure safe, secure and efficient travel.”
A follow-on survey by GBTA found that half of European travel professionals predict that the ban will curtail business travel in the next three months.
Separately, a survey by the US Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) found that one in four members reported that “fear of traveller harassment” and “fear of reprisals” was causing travel problems for their companies. Overall, 39 per cent of ACTE members said the Trump travel ban could cause reductions in corporate travel.
“These percentages are way out of line for an industry that is constantly under pressure,” says ACTE’s executive director Greeley Koch. “Furthermore, business travel is about people. And people with bona-fide visas should not be subject to fear, delays, or harassment over their visa document.”