Twenty percent of companies responding to a survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives report that the current US travel ban is causing their travelers difficulty. Of that group, 25 percent cite “fear of traveler harassment, fear of reprisals,” and “new uncertainty factors” as contributing to those difficulties. Thirty-nine percent of the 260 respondents stated the travel ban has the potential to reduce corporate travel.
“These percentages are way out of line for an industry that is constantly under pressure,” said ACTE’s Executive Director Greeley Koch. “Furthermore, business travel is about people. And people with bone fide visas should not be subject to fear, delays, or harassment over their visa document.”
Koch added that business travelers and their companies abhor uncertainty. “If there is doubt about the validity of a visa, or worry about entering the US, or fear of reprisals, then business travelers will opt not to go. Companies with duty of care concerns will not subject their employees to these kinds of risks. This level of uncertainty is bad for business.”
On the nature and implementation of the ban, Koch said, “The travel industry needs policy that eliminates confusion and uncertainty… Not policy that fosters it.”
The ACTE Travel Ban Survey revealed:
1. Is the US travel ban from select countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) posing travel difficulties for your company?
• Yes = 20%
• No = 46%
• Not Yet Sure = 34%
2. What is the nature of the travel difficulties?
• Fear of traveler harassment = 6%
• Fear of reprisals or harassment of US travelers in the Middle East = 5%
• Uncertainty regarding Green Card and approved via credibility = 4%
• Limited access to employee pool = 2%
• All of the above = 25%
• Not sure yet = 16%
• Did not apply = 38%
3. What do you project could be the lasting impact of this ban?
• Cancelling of contracts with US-based companies and Middle-Eastern firms = 11%
• New and intensified threats against US travelers abroad = 22%
• Immediate complications with existing travel arrangements for a significant number of travelers = 23%
• Not yet sure = 44%
4. In response to the question, Will this travel ban reduce your company’s travel:
• 3% percent said, “Significantly.”
• 36% percent said “Somewhat”
• 61% said “Not at all.”