Passport requirements could hurt Canadian attendance at U.S. meetings

If the new U.S. requirement that everyone entering the U.S. via sea or air show a passport goes into effect as scheduled on Dec. 31 of this year, you may be saying bye to some of your Canadian attendees. And it could hurt the Canadian meetings market, too. From Travel Wire News:

    In the Hotel Association of Canada/Fleishman Hillard survey, 37 percent of Canadians say they would take at least one trip to the US this year, with the majority (24 percent) indicating at least a one-night stay. However, when asked if they would still travel to the U.S. if a passport requirement were in place, 27 percent said they would likely cancel the trip.

    America is Canada’s largest inbound market. Almost 75 percent of Canadian business comes from the US. If a huge percentage of Americans needs to cross the border but will cancel travel due to the passport issue, Canada’s meetings and conventions business will suffer tremendously. The Conference Board of Canada reports that the loss will be about $1.7 billion over 3 years. (Currently, only about 20 percent of Americans has passports). Conversely, American hotels, conventions and meetings loss is estimated at $785 million once the requirement is in place.

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