Last and this week, Donald Trump’s travel ban has caused a bit of a stir in the industry and while the ban is debated in courts, the confusion surrounding it is impacting travel to and from the United States for countries beyond the 7 named in the executive order.
In a follow-up to a poll of U.S. members earlier this week, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the business travel industry, polled its European members on President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States of citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Nearly half (49 percent) of European travel professionals expect the ban to cause a reduction in their company’s business travel in the immediate ensuing three months – compared to 31 percent in the United States.
There was a similar difference seen in short-term impact over the next three to six months as well, with 46 percent of European respondents expecting the ban to negatively impact their company’s business travel compared to 29 percent in the U.S. survey.
The longer-term impact looking at 6 to 12+ months out is slightly higher in Europe, with 33 percent expecting a reduction in business travel versus 28 percent in the United States. As business travel acts as an economic driver, this level of disruption will certainly hurt the economy.
Additionally, 38 percent of respondents said there are directives within their organization to cancel or delay travel of employees who are nationals of countries included in the ban.
More than half (53 percent) of our respondents also reported that their organization currently has employees traveling abroad who either might be or are affected by the travel ban.
When asked an open-ended question about how their company has been affected, we received a variety of responses from it’s too soon to tell to no impact to serious concerns. Here are a few of the responses:
“Cannot comment as [of] yet – it’s too early”
“We have not been affected since we mostly have our trips within [our country].”
“Seeing a major shift in travellers desire to visit the US… Trips and events will likely be cancelled or postponed.”
“As the US is where the majority of our traveller community and travel spend is, we are considering moving events to outside of the US.”
Methodology: This survey was conducted online between February 2nd and February 3rd, 2017. In total 454 European travel buyers were invited to participate in this study via email. 68 participated in the survey yielding a response rate of 15 percent. Due to rounding, percentages may add to more or less than 100 percent.