Skift Take

Travel industry advocates have been asking the new U.S. administration to send a welcoming message to the world's travelers for months now. They're still waiting, and worrying about the impact of policies that seem more likely to discourage visitors.

The Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report is our weekly newsletter focused on the future of corporate travel, the big fault lines of disruption for travel managers and buyers, the innovations emerging from the sector, and the changing business traveler habits that are upending how corporate travel is packaged, bought, and sold.

One of the big questions the travel industry (and Skift) have been grappling with this year surrounds U.S. policies under the Trump administration and their potential impact on travel.

Starting with the first executive order banning travel from several Muslim-majority countries back in January, the travel industry hasn’t had much respite from surprise decisions. A second travel ban — now paused — followed after the first was tied up in court. And then the U.S. declared that travelers entering the country from several Middle Eastern and African countries could not bring large electronics in the cabin. Whether that so-called laptop ban will be extended to flights from Europe remains an open question.

Trying to calculate the impact of such measures is difficult. We’ve already seen several reports, ranging from $185 million in lost business travel bookings over a single week after the first travel ban to a projected cost of more than $1 billion if a wider laptop ban were to pass to an $18 billion cost to U.S. tourism over two years.

The Global Business Travel Association came out with another number recently: a loss of $1.3 billion in overall travel-related spending this year. That includes $250 million lost from inbound business travelers from the Middle East and Europe. The total only counts lost potential spending from Middle Eastern and European visitors, so it is hardly definitive. But GBTA executives hope that putting a price tag on the anticipated economic impact will help drive home their message that travel is something to protect, not prevent.

— Hannah Sampson, Skift 

Social Quote of the Day

Business travel is all fun and games until you’re in an airport Sunday night delayed two hours with an hour drive awaiting you upon landing. @rachmckelvey

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Trump Slump Could Take a $1.3 Billion Toll on U.S. Travel Spending: It’s hard to know exactly how much the U.S. will lose out on international visitors and travel spending because of policies under the Trump administration, but the fact that an industry group is making this kind of statement shows that there’s widespread concern. Read more at Skift

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Security Crackdowns Are Presenting New Challenges for Business Travelers: With laptop bans, increased scrutiny of social media, and warnings of stepped-up surveillance in mind, business travelers and their employers are having to look closely at policies around data, equipment, and privacy. Read more at Buying Business Travel

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Extended Stay Hotels Experiment with On-Demand Food Services: Launching something like on-demand grocery delivery service makes a lot of sense, but given what happened with Hilton’s meal kit delivery service experiment, it’ll be interesting to see how well Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham’s pilot progresses. Read more at Skift

Is Business Travel Ready for Blockchain?: Blockchain technology could have widespread applications for business travel, but as one observer in this story cautioned: “It’s not The Matrix.” Read more at Buying Business Travel


Skift editors Hannah Sampson [[email protected]] and Andrew Sheivachman [[email protected]] curate the Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Thursday.

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Tags: business travel, corporate travel, ctir

Photo credit: The Global Business Travel Association is forecasting a $1.3 billion hit to travel spending in the U.S. this year as a result of policies that have stirred up fresh uncertainty. This photo shows a quiet moment at San Francisco International Airport. Jason Adam van Beemen / Flickr

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