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The Ban Begins to Bite: GBTA Poll Brings Bad News for Business Travel

The new poll reports European business travel professionals say trips to the U.S. have been cancelled and they expect further travel reductions.

The Global Business Travel Association has released the results of a new survey of members in the U.S. and Europe following the revised “Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” issued on March 6.

Almost half the European business travel professionals reported that they were expecting some level of reduction in business travel because of the ban, compared with 37 percent of U.S. professionals. More worrying is the news that 17 percent of the Europeans polled reported that their company had already cancelled business travel to the U.S. because of the executive orders, and thirty-eight percent said their company was now less likely to plan business trips here in the future. 

Travel professionals in the U.S. reported similar levels of support or opposition to the revised executive order as they did to the one issued on January 27. Fifty-two percent opposed the revised ban vs. 50 percent for the original, and 35 percent supported the revision vs. 38 percent for the original.

The revised version of the executive order appears not to have addressed the uncertainty surrounding documentation as 34 percent of U.S. respondents expressed concerns regarding green card and approved visa credibility, and other top concerns remain from a poll following the first ban, including increased travel complexities for both American and international travelers, and increased threats and harassment. In a statement, Michael McCormick, executive director and COO of GBTA, expressed his support for increased national security but warned, “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.”

According to the survey, 45 percent of European respondents do find the U.S. is less welcoming now, they say they are less likely to plan meetings and events here, a statistic that could hurt the country for a long time to come.



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