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Even business travelers are freaking out over the election

Uncertainty over who will win the presidential election — Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton — is behind the weakness in business travel spending, experts say.
(AFP/Getty Images)

The global business travel industry blames the uncertainty created by the upcoming election for sluggish business travel spending.

Since the 2008 economic meltdown, business travel has been on the rise, with corporate executives spending heavily to reestablish lost business connections.

But travel volume is slowing, growing by only 1% in 2016, while overall spending on business travel is expected to drop by 0.6%, according to the Global Business Travel Assn., a trade group for the nation’s business travel managers.

Among the reasons for the tepid spending growth, according to the trade group, are a sluggish global business expansion, weak investment growth and unpredictable geopolitical conditions.

And of course there’s the bitter battle to pick the 45th president of the United States.

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“The ongoing global uncertainty and added heartburn from a presidential election unlike any we have ever seen are causing many businesses to stay in a holding pattern, taking an extremely cautious wait-and-see approach bordering on paranoia,” said Michael McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer for the trade group.

The association predicts that a stronger economy in 2017 will help push travel spending up 3.8% next year, to $293 billion.

Also, the election turmoil should subside after Nov. 8. Maybe.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

To read more about the travel and tourism industries, follow @hugomartin on Twitter.


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