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Government Shutdown: Business Travel Is A High Risk Bargaining Chip

October 3, 2013 Association No Comments Email Email

 The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, today issued a statement on the Federal Government shutdown from Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick.

“America’s economy can’t grow without a reliable system supporting business travel. U.S. business travel spending is expected to reach more than $273 billion this year, finally surpassing pre-recession levels. But a government shutdown will have rippling effects through the economy and severely impact the business travel industry. Every business trip cancelled results in permanently lost travel industry revenues, decreased future employment rates and lost economic benefit to our country.

The business travel industry is among the first impacted by a shutdown.  For example, the government’s inability to issue passports and visas will result in cancelled trips and lost business opportunities. During the 1996 shutdown, hundreds of thousands of passports went unissued and tens of thousands of visa applications went unprocessed.

If the shutdown is extended, overseas businesses will lose confidence and put U.S. investment plans on hold. The international community will reconsider decisions to grow business here and whether to hold meetings and conferences in U.S. cities that rely on that economic benefit. Each inbound international business trip increases U.S. merchandise exports to the visited country by $36,000 per year and each overseas traveler spends approximately $5,000 when they visit.

Unfortunately, like the sequestration earlier this year, this standoff is using business travel as a bargaining chip. This self-destructive government shutdown will result in lost productivity, lost business opportunities and lost revenue.

Enough is enough. The United States must remain open for business.”


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