US Travel Ban Spreads Fear, Uncertainty: ACTE


It seems the newly launched US travel ban is causing fear and uncertainty throughout the country.

Twenty per cent of companies responding to a survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) report that the current US travel ban is causing their travellers difficulty. Of that group, 25% cite “fear of traveller harassment, fear of reprisals,” and “new uncertainty factors” as contributing to those difficulties. Thirty-nine per cent of the 260 respondents said the 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 travellers 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 travellers 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.”

In related news, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) president David Scowsill, commented on the travel ban, “The Executive Order issued by US President Trump on Jan. 27 banning travel to the US from seven countries for 90 days goes directly against the fundamental right of Freedom to Travel. It has created immense confusion among travellers and travel companies worldwide.”

WTTC believes that all people have the right to cross international borders safely and efficiently for business and tourism purposes. The blanket suspension of admittance of travellers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen to the US flies against this principle. Suspending travel based only on a person’s nationality or their origin is wrong.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, has also expressed its deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban.

It says the ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA.

“Global challenges demand global solutions and the security challenges that we face today should not prompt us to build new walls; on the contrary, isolationism and blind discriminatory actions will not lead to increased security, but rather to growing tensions and threats,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.

“Besides the direct impact, the image of a country which imposes travel bans in such a hostile way will surely be affected among visitors from all over the world and risk dumping travel demand to the USA,” Rifai.