BY now, you would have probably heard that US President Donald Trump issued an executive order to suspend entry of all refugees for 120 days; ban Syrian refugees indefinitely; and block entry for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Syria for 90 days.
The news has rattled the travel industry as chaos hits airports and airlines while many Muslim travelers around the world board their flights with apprehension.
One of the industries that will likely be affected is the MICE sector. According to The Economist, about 15 percent of visitors entering the US travel for business, and “corporations will be concerned what state the economy is in, and how easy it is for their employees to enter America.”
The report added that if Trump forces more travelers to attend visa interviews or tinkers with visa-waiver programs, “conference organisers may decide to relocate events if they think that delegates will have trouble entering the country.”
A separate report by MiceBTN said that the travel ban “could lead to a downturn in travel costing a claimed US$71 billion and more than 130,000 jobs” based on statistics by the Council of Foreign Relations.
The report added that “some industry experts believe there could be a so-called ‘Trump Bump’ with some individuals and companies opting to visit the US ahead of alternative destinations despite the controversy.”
While it’s still early days into the presidency, there’s only one way to find out.