According to a poll conducted by the Global Business Travel Association, U.S. and European business travelers anticipate significant impacts to the meeting and event industry due to the controversial travel ban put in place by President Trump. Forty-five percent of European GBTA members say their company will be less likely to plan events on U.S. soil, and 38 percent say their companies are reluctant to send travelers to the United States for upcoming meetings and events. In addition, 17 percent said their companies have already canceled U.S. travel. Similarly, 37 percent of U.S. business travel professionals expect reductions in their business travel as a result of the ban as well.
Association officials are taking an activism role, hoping to pressure government leaders to come up with better, more proven security measures than outright bans on certain countries. “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, GBTA executive director and COO. “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.”
By the same token, U.S. business travelers are expressing concern that they will feel an impact from the ban as well, whether it is in the form of retaliation by other countries, difficulties for U.S. travelers returning to the country, or increased threats for U.S. travelers abroad.
Even so, 35 percent of those surveyed said they strongly or somewhat supported the ban, while 52 percent said they strongly or somewhat oppose it.