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ITCM

Since its launch in 1988 ITCM has been reporting on the latest developments in the MICE market from around the world.

President Trump has given organisers an extra headache

Sydney Paulden says more clarity is required about entry into the USA

A few years ago I led a group of UK delegates to an event at the Amfora Hotel on the beautiful Croatian island of Hvar. When we had cleared immigration at Split Airport I found that we were one delegate short. I found that she was being held by immigration because, unknown to me, she was travelling on a Belarus passport and so required a special visa

Fortunately, our host hotel group had good connections with the authorities and within a couple of hours the delegate had been granted a visa and was able to join us at the hotel for dinner. I can therefore appreciate the extra headaches caused to event organisers by the sudden introduction of restrictions on entry into the USA.

The central problem seems to be the lack of clarity as to who might be affected. The UK Foreign Minister has ascertained that the new restrictions do not apply to holders of British passports, even if they have dual nationality. On the other hand, a British Member of Parliament was only allowed entry into the USA after being interrogated in great detail for several hours, because he had been born in one of the seven proscribed countries.

It also now appears that the restrictions will not apply to travellers entering through airports in those US states where their own state Attorney General has declared President Trump’s restrictions unlawful.

On the other hand, some travellers might be prevented from changing planes in the USA in order to reach their final destination.

Organisers of multi-national events, therefore, will have to ensure that their delegates and guests check very carefully how the recent Presidential Executive Order might affect them.

It will be an extra worry for organisers and will almost certainly, in the meantime, make the USA a less favoured MICE destination.

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