Six Ways the Government Shutdown Hurts the Business Travel Industry

GBTA revealed results of a member survey today showing the negative impact the government shutdown is having on the business travel industry. The survey found two-thirds are concerned the shutdown will negatively impact their business if it goes on for more than a week. As we near the end of week two, the anxiety only worsens.

As of October 8 when the survey was conducted, 40 percent said the shutdown had already impacted them, their company and/or their company’s employees.

The top ways respondents are feeling the impact:

  1. Cancelled meetings or business opportunities in the United States
  2. Increased uncertainty about the economy
  3. Cancelled bookings
  4. Cancelled or delayed contracts with government agencies
  5. Staff reductions due to reduced business activities
  6. Increased concern among travelers about airline delays and cancellations due to possible reduced air traffic controllers

Want to know more specifics? The chart below shows examples of the impact of the shutdown provided by survey respondents.

Impact Example
Lost Employees “Our company has forced support/administrative employees to take leave until other direct client facing employees return to work.”“Some of our employees are government contractors who were issued a stop work order. They may not be paid when they get back.”
Cancelled Bookings “Loss of room night revenue due to cancelled meetings…and loss of room night revenue due to famed attractions being closed.”
Cancelled Meetings “We do installation for government suppliers and those meetings are cancelled because government orders are stopped for the time being.”
Delays in Passports and Visas  “Concern it may have impact on ability to get rush Visas, passports for our international travelers.”

U.S. business travel spending is a major driver of the global economy. Finally surpassing pre-recession levels, U.S. business travel spending is expected to reach $273 billion this year. The shutdown, however, is damaging productivity and leading to lost business opportunities and revenue that can’t be recovered. It is severely impacting the business travel industry and creating uncertainty. Enough is enough.


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