New travel ban concerns travel managers

The Trump administration’s new travel ban has some corporate travel managers concerned, according to a survey of members of the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).

Seventeen percent of respondents are “somewhat” rethinking conducting business with the U.S. and 4% are “significantly” considering it.

However, 66% said they were not rethinking conducting business in the U.S., while the remaining 13% said the question does not apply to them.

Fifty percent said the new travel ban either would not pose travel difficulties for their companies and 5% said the question does not apply, but 39% said it would pose difficulties and 6% said it would “significantly” pose difficulties.

Asked if their companies had recently canceled meetings in the U.S., 91% of those surveyed said their company had not, but 9% responded that their company had.

Meanwhile, 21% said travelers have “somewhat” reported harassment or delays crossing the U.S. border since the first ban was put in place, and 1% said their travelers had “significantly” seen delays or harassment. The remaining 78% said their travelers had not experienced delays or harassment.

The majority said the first ban or the new ban has heightened threat awareness when traveling abroad, with 41% saying it had “somewhat,” and 14% saying it had “significantly.” Forty-five percent said it had not.

“Though the numbers clearly indicate that there is no change in travel nor travel planning for the majority of companies doing business in the U.S., a seed has been planted within 21% of survey respondents,” ACTE executive director Greeley Koch said. “The U.S. does not need any excuse for companies to prefer travel to other countries. Ultimately, we are talking about jobs here. Jobs at the airports, in hotels, in surface transportation and in restaurants. The business travel community is weighing the benefits of this ban against its more obvious liabilities.”

The ACTE polled 400 global business travel managers via email Monday and had 125 responses.