Almost a third of travel buyers expect the US travel ban to cause a reduction in their company’s business travel spend over the next three months, a study has found.

The report from the GBTA, which polled 338 buyer members, also found nearly three in ten expect the ban to negatively impact their company’s business travel in both the short-term (29 per cent) over the next three to six months and the long-tem (28 per cent) over the next six to 12 months and beyond.

The survey comes after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order banning refuges from entering the US for 120 days and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries for three months.

The countries affected are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. This also hits those with dual nationalities, although certain nations including the UK have been exempt.

“Business travel drives lasting business growth and is a leading indicator for jobs,” said Michael McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “With 30 percent of companies expected to reduce travel, the economy will certainly take a hit.

“While we understand the need for security, GBTA is a strong proponent of risk-based security programs like the Visa Waiver Program. By facilitating travel and trade with 38 countries, the Visa Waiver Program spurs job creation and economic growth, while remaining the gold standard of security and efficiency in balancing the need to protect the American public while facilitating global business travel.

“We hope to have the opportunity to work with the administration going forward to form policies that ensure safe, secure and efficient travel,” said McCormick.

The study showed the polarising nature of today’s politics in the US with conflicting views on support for the travel ban. Half of the travel professionals surveyed strongly or somewhat oppose this action, while nearly 4 in 10 (38 per cent) strongly or somewhat support it.

When asked about top concerns regarding the immigration ban on your travelers, uncertainty regarding green card and approved visa credibility to enter the United States (55 percent), harassment of U.S. travelers to and from the Middle East (50 per cent) and increased traveler harassment in general (50 per cent) topped the list. Nearly a quarter (23 percent), however, didn’t share any of the concerns listed.

This survey was conducted online between January 31 and February 1.

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