Global geopolitical issues apparently had businesses feeling anxious in the first half of 2019, and that impacted how much they were willing to spend on employee travel.

Various hotel executives - particularly with real estate investment trusts - spoke during second-quarter earnings calls about a slowing of business transient.

James Risoleo, president and CEO, Host Hotels & Resorts says “Businesses were cautious in the quarter, likely driven by the global slowdown and the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing trade negotiations. We believe this led to a decline in business-transient demand, especially in major markets such as New York and San Francisco. All of these factors resulted in weaker results than we and the industry anticipated."