12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
US corporate travel is set to take another hit in early 2014 due to the ongoing government funding impasse, according to ACTE boss Greeley Koch (pictured).
While the US government shutdown earlier this month and the raising of the country’s debt ceiling have been temporarily resolved, the next deadlines for these funding issues take place in January and February 2014 respectively.
Koch, who is ACTE’s executive director, said US politicians were just “kicking the can down the road” on both issues.
“It brings so much uncertainty and business travel is affected by that because people make decisions based on that uncertainty,” he told BBT at the association’s conference in Barcelona.
“We saw that those that had government business and contracts scaled back on travel because they didn’t know if they would be paid or reimbursed.
“The politicians don’t seem to understand the detrimental effect caused to business.”
Koch added that he was not confident that the situation would be resolved by politicians before the next deadlines came around.
“I don’t see how it won’t happen again given the animosity that there is between and within the two parties – it seems they can’t reach a deal until the very last minute,” he said.
“Although they say it won’t happen again, I think we will be in exactly the same situation again in the early part of next year.”
Koch said the crisis was a “real shame” because the US economy had otherwise been performing more strongly this year.
“We have been getting a sense from travel managers in US-based companies that budgets are starting to loosen up,” he said.
“This is not the situation in Europe where travel managers still have tight budgets. If you think about it, they are still working on budgets set up a year ago when the situation with Greece and the eurozone was happening. It looks like they will continue to be tight for a while.”