The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is projecting a loss of over $1.3 billion in travel-related expenditures in the US in 2017 as a result of “the cumulative economic impact of global uncertainty and anti-travel policies.” That figure comprises spending on: hotels, food, rental cars and shopping that inbound travelers would have spent; and includes $250 million lost in spending from inbound business travelers from Europe and the Middle East. According to GBTA, GDP in the US will take a nearly $300 million hit. Europe is forecast to lose $250 million and the Middle East over $80 million in airfare spending.
The uncertainty and anti-travel policies cited by GBTA include: Brexit, the Trump administration’s travel bans and the bans on bringing large electronics into airplane cabins. The losses were based on ticketing data from the Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) and GBTA’s own economic research and models. The greater concern, according to a GBTA blog posting, is that the longer-term impact on business travel will become even larger as companies begin to host meetings and events in other destinations. In an earlier survey of GBTA’s European members, 45% indicated their company would be less willing to plan future meetings and events in the US due to executive orders on travel.