Companies expect ongoing international travel disruption due to revised travel ban

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European companies will plan significantly fewer meetings and events in United States

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

Nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) 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 per cent expecting some level of reduction in business travel for their company. Additionally, 17 per cent 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 per cent of European business travel professionals said their company’s would be less willing to send business travellers to the United States in the future because of the executive order and 45 per cent 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 on the travel ban

  • 44 per cent of European travel professionals reported their organization currently has employees travelling abroad who might be or are affected by the current travel ban.
  • 20 per cent of European travel professionals reported there are directives within their organization to cancel or delay travel of employees who are nationals of countries included in the travel ban.
  • U.S. travel professionals cited potential for countries to respond to this ban, making travel more difficult for U.S. travellers (51 per cent), complications in travel to the United States (44 per cent) and increased threats against U.S. travellers abroad (41 per cent) 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 per cent, 56 per cent and 54 per cent 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 per cent) of the travel professionals surveyed strongly or somewhat oppose this action, while 35 per cent strongly or somewhat support it, compared to 50 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively, in our initial poll.
  • When asked about top concerns regarding the travel ban, increased traveller harassment in general (41 per cent), uncertainty regarding green card and approved visa credibility to enter the United States (34 per cent), and harassment of U.S. travellers to and from the Middle East (34 per cent) topped the list. More than one-third (34 per cent), however, didn’t share any of the concerns listed.

Methodology

The poll of European members was conducted online from March 7-8, 2017. The respondents are comprised of 148 European travel managers, 51 of whom reside in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, or Sweden). The poll of U.S. members was also conducted online from March 7-8, 2017 and is comprised of 176 travel managers.

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