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'Damage already done' on US travel industry

GBTA president says White House must work to prove it is open for business following new list of travel rules
25/09/2017

Pictured: GBTA president Michael McCormick

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) says the 'damage has already been done' as President Trump releases revised measures aimed to clarify travel restrictions into the United States.


GBTA president Michael McCormick says while the travel restrictions are clearer, he urged the White House to counter the perception that the US is closed for business.


Under the revised travel measures into the United States, President Trump has added Chad, North Korea and Venezuala to the list of countries subject to travel restrictions. They join Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia, while Sudan has been lifted from the list.


In a statement, McCormick said: "The White House has now established clearer criteria and a process for evaluating the admission of foreign visitors into the United States as well as a willingness to engage with other countries to assist them in meeting the mutual beneficial goal of safe travel. Through this process, the federal government was able to raise the level of security for travel into the United States through constructive bilateral engagement.


"However, the damage from the previous executive orders has been done. The initial comprehensive January and March travel bans have created the perception that the United States is closed for business. While security is paramount, the White House should now work to counter that perception. The resulting losses in business travel and trade have left a lasting negative impact on our economy."


The restrictions do not apply to lawful permanent residents, any dual national of a country designated, any foreign national traveling on a diplomatic or diplomatic-type visa or any foreign national who has been granted asylum; any refugee who has already been admitted to the United States, among other exceptions. Individuals with valid visas are also exempt. View the FAQ and fact sheet from the White House.


  • Rodney Cox of Delaro 28/09/2017

    The challenge with events such as a global conference is not attracting the first delegate (that is order taking) but attracting (say)the 3,000th delegate. This person is making a fundamentally different decision and as they are likely not "welded onto the event" then any uncertainty can be a show stopper for them. For USA events people from non ESTA countries are particularly exposed to any entry uncertainty. And from my experience this isn't just uncertainty about obtaining a visa, but also on how they will be treated upon arrival. While their fears might prove unfounded, they won't know until they apply and arrive. So as an event organiser the challenge is to reduce this sense of uncertainty. Venues have a role to play in this as well, but as the event's risk exposure is different from the venue's risk exposure common ground needs to be found.


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