In a message to members this week, SITE
CEO Kevin Hinton, left, addressed the U.S. President's executive order on immigration. Following is an excerpt from his letter:"We are monitoring the effects of the newly issued executive orders on immigration from the new U.S. president. Together with our industry partners in the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, we urge the new administration to conduct its review of the visa-issuance protocols quickly, and trust that it will yield an even more secure travel security system that protects international travelers and welcomes them into the United States.
"While we appreciate that it's critical to strike the right balance between enhanced security and travel facilitation, we believe this executive order was hastily implemented without a thoughtful plan for those affected, which has sparked chaos and confusion for our members in the USA and across the world. In the over 40 years that SITE has championed the motivational power of global incentive travel, our members have worked across the globe and across cultures. Our diversity is one of our hallmark strengths and the ability to travel internationally has been part of the power of global incentive travel programs.
"Moreover, the ability for the USA to offer accessible destinations to all participants in an international corporate incentive travel program is imperative for success in this market. We believe restrictions made on the grounds of ethnicity, nationality and/or religion are unacceptable on U.S. constitutional grounds as well as damaging to the wider tourism economy and a threat to jobs.
"Together with our Meetings Mean Business partners, SITE is committed to engaging on all fronts to protect the interests of the incentive travel industry. Travel and security are not opposing goals, so we will be collecting data and feedback from the industry to understand the impact on our sector and the broader business events industry. It's important to note that this is just the first communication, and in the near future we will be sending a MMB survey to SITE members to assess the immediate and long-term impacts on our industry.
"During this time of rapid developments, we will continue to communicate with you as we stand together in solidarity and welcome your voice in this important conversation."