Trump Administration Delays New Travel Ban to Next Week

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The Trump administration is delaying the release of a revised travel ban until next week, White House policy adviser Stephen Miller said in an interview on Fox News Wednesday. While he promised that the new executive order would be “fully responsive to the courts,” Miller said that the changes in the order would be “mostly minor technical differences.”

“Fundamentally you’re going to have the same basic policy outcome for the country,” Miller said.

The comments track with an earlier report that the new executive order would target the same seven Muslim-majority countries as the original travel ban -- Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. One draft described by the Associated Press earlier this week exempts travelers who already have a visa to travel to the United States, even if they haven’t used it yet, as well as green card holders and dual U.S. citizens.

The move will aim to continue a policy that triggered travel delays and protests at airports across the United States when it was first implemented, as well as a range of commentary from the travel industry.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) just released a new statement arguing that uncertainty over the travel ban continues to put business travel and the economy at risk. In a study released the week following the ban, the GBTA reported a loss of approximately $185 million in business travel bookings, saying that the uncertainty of surrounding travel in general had a “rippling effect” on traveler confidence.

“The current state of uncertainty over the travel ban could cause a similar impact on business travel,” the GBTA said.

The GBTA noted that in its 2016 Q4 GBTA BTI U.S. Business Travel Outlook, released just after Donald Trump’s election but before he took office, the organization forecast a 4.4 percent increase in business gravel spending in 2017, following a 0.2 percent drop in 2016. The GBTA said that that prediction is “now very much in jeopardy,” especially if business travel continues to see losses like those in the week following the travel ban.

“The ultimate concern is that the lasting impact of the travel ban, and any future appeals around it, could cause other countries beyond just those named in the ban to think twice about planning meetings and events in the United States,” the GBTA said. “This could create a huge impact.”

In a press call shortly after the original ban was implemented, Eben Peck, SVP, government and industry affairs at the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) said that the ban was having a “chilling effect” on the travel industry. At the same time, ASTA said that the views of its membership on the policy are split, and that it would release a survey diving deeper into what its member agents think of the ban.

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow had said that, while his organization recognizes the need to maintain national security, the order could hurt business and leisure travel to the United States.

"Over the past two weeks, our members have voiced their concerns about how an unintended consequence of this executive order could be a reduction in both international leisure and business travel to the United States,” Dow said. “Destinations large and small depend on these visitors to sustain local businesses and jobs.

"That said, we stand with the administration, Congress and law enforcement officials, as we all remain vigilant during an era of constantly changing global security dynamics,” Dow said. “As always, we believe in striking a balance that places a premium on both security and our nation’s history as a welcoming place for travelers from around the globe."

Shortly after the ban was issued ASTA collected comments and stories from its member agents on how the policy affected them – check out what they had to say.