Skift Take

International business travel to the U.S. has been a weak point recently due to the strong dollar. We may be about to find out how much worse it can get.

The travel industry has cause for concern about the impact of an updated ban on travelers entering the United States, a new survey shows.

According to the Global Business Travel Association, European companies especially anticipate a reduction of business travel to the United States because of the new order.

President Donald Trump signed the latest ban on Monday, but it does not go into effect until March 16. The order restricts travelers from six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — rather than the original seven. Iraq was excluded this time. The previous order, issued in January, was suspended by court order and has since been withdrawn.

Both travel managers in the United States and Europe said that they expected to see business travel decline in their own companies as a result of the order. In the U.S., 37 percent anticipate a drop; 47 percent of Europeans said they expect a reduction.

Already, 17 percent of those who responded from Europe said their company had canceled business trips to the U.S. More expected to see cutbacks in the future. Forty-five percent of European respondents said their companies would be less willing to plan meetings and events in the U.S., while 38 percent of respondents said they would be less willing to send business travelers to the country.

“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,” Michael McCormick, GBTA executive director and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “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 travelers are always vetted properly, making us all more safe and secure.”

Slightly more than half of travel professionals in the U.S. who responded to the survey were strongly or somewhat opposed to the ban, while 35 percent were supportive to some degree.

The results, released Tuesday night, includes responses from 148 European travel managers and 176 travel managers in the U.S.

A survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives earlier this week showed that 45 percent of respondents from around the world said the new ban would pose travel difficulties for their company. Twenty-one percent had somewhat or significantly rethought plans to conduct business with the U.S., and nine percent said they had canceled meetings in the country in favor of other destinations.


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Tags: business travel, gbta, travel ban, trump

Photo credit: Protestors march through Harvard Square in Massachusetts to demonstrate against President Donald Trump's latest travel ban. A new survey shows business travel is expected to be affected. Charles Krupa / Associated Press

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