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April 28, 2003 – Corporations Lift Ban On Travel After War

In a series of surveys conducted by the Business Travel Coalition (BTC), the effects of the Iraq War on large-company travel policies were examined. In the thick of the war (March 19 – 26), 18 percent of respondents indicated that their companies had banned international travel due to U.S.-Iraq hostilities. More than half (56%) said that their companies had tightened up the pre-approval process for international travel and four in ten (41%) claimed their companies had adjusted domestic U.S. travel policy. A recent wave, conducted April 20-22, found that, in light of the war winding down, 38 percent of those who had indicated their companies had banned international travel have now lifted the ban, while a further 56 percent said they will be considering lifting the ban in the near future. A quarter (24%) of those who had said their companies had tightened pre-approval processes for international travel have now moderated those policies and 75 percent who’s companies had adjusted domestic travel policy have now returned to pre-war policies. BTC predicts that a return to pre-war demand in business travel will take longer than after the Gulf War of 1991 due to a number of factors. Those include the availability of quality technological alternatives to air travel such as Web Conferencing and family concerns in the face of terror threats.

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