Published on : Thursday, February 2, 2017
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the business travel industry, polled its U.S. members this week on President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States of citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
“Business travel drives lasting business growth and is a leading indicator for jobs,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “With 30 percent of companies expected to reduce travel, the economy will certainly take a hit. While we understand the need for security, GBTA is a strong proponent of risk-based security programs like the Visa Waiver Program. By facilitating travel and trade with 38 countries, the Visa Waiver Program 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 Administration going forward to form policies that ensure safe, secure and efficient travel.”
Thirty-one percent of travel professionals expect the ban to cause a reduction in their company’s business travel in the immediate ensuing three months. Similarly, nearly three in ten also expect the ban to negatively impact their company’s business travel in both the short-term (29 percent) over the next 3 to 6 months and the long-tem (28 percent) over the next 6 to 12 months and beyond.
The polarizing nature of today’s politics in the United States showed itself in the conflicting views on support for the travel ban. Half of the travel professionals surveyed strongly or somewhat oppose this action, while nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) strongly or somewhat support it.
Travel professionals cited potential for countries to respond to this ban, making travel more difficult for U.S. travelers (63 percent), complications in travel to the United States (56 percent) and increased threats against U.S. travelers abroad (54 percent) as their top concerns for lasting impacts of the travel ban.
When asked about top concerns regarding the immigration ban on your travelers, uncertainty regarding green card and approved visa credibility to enter the United States (55 percent), harassment of U.S. travelers to and from the Middle East (50 percent) and increased traveler harassment in general (50 percent) topped the list. Nearly a quarter (23 percent), however, didn’t share any of the concerns listed.
Methodology: This survey was conducted online between January 31st and February 1st, 2017. In total, 338 select U.S. GBTA buyer members were invited to participate in this study via email. 58 participated in the survey yielding a response rate of 17 percent. Due to rounding, percentages may add to more or less than 100 percent.