America’s economy can’t grow without a reliable system supporting business travel, says the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in reaction to today's partial government shutdown. In a statement GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick said, "Enough is enough. The United States must remain open for business.”
"U.S. business travel spending is expected to reach more than $273 billion this year, finally surpassing pre-recession levels. But a government shutdown will have rippling effects through the economy and severely impact the business travel industry. Every business trip cancelled results in permanently lost travel industry revenues, decreased future employment rates and lost economic benefit to our country," McCormick said.
"The business travel industry is among the first impacted by a shutdown. For example, the government’s inability to issue passports and visas will result in cancelled trips and lost business opportunities. During the 1996 shutdown, hundreds of thousands of passports went unissued and tens of thousands of visa applications went unprocessed," he said.
"If the shutdown is extended, overseas businesses will lose confidence and put U.S. investment plans on hold. The international community will reconsider decisions to grow business here and whether to hold meetings and conferences in U.S. cities that rely on that economic benefit. Each inbound international business trip increases U.S. merchandise exports to the visited country by $36,000 per year and each overseas traveler spends approximately $5,000 when they visit," McCormick said.
"Unfortunately, like the sequestration earlier this year, this standoff is using business travel as a bargaining chip. This self-destructive government shutdown will result in lost productivity, lost business opportunities and lost revenue," McCormick said.