The Travel Trolley

Association: Tone down the rhetoric about travel

A new campaign from the U.S Travel Association aims to “challenge policymakers to tone down the dangerous rhetoric, embrace sensible guidelines for companies receiving assistance and promote travel as an economic solution.”

Business travel, the group says, accounts for 15 percent of the nation’s travel, creates 1 million jobs and generates $16 billion in tax revenues annually. But, in recent weeks, some politicians have called out companies for taking junkets, saying they are unnecessary and wasteful, prompting a war of words between Washington and destinations such as Las Vegas.

The U.S Travel Association launched the “Meetings Mean Business” campaign to, in part, conduct research and combat what the organization believes is false and harmful information.

The organization cited a new Meetings and Convention Magazine survey revealing that more than 20 percent of companies, which have not received a “bailout,” have canceled events because of news reports and political attention while 52 percent say media coverage has been extremely or moderately influential on their company’s decisions to hold events.

“Make no mistake, companies that have received taxpayer assistance must be held to a different standard and conduct their business in a transparent and responsible manner,” Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said in a news release. “But the pendulum has swung too far. The climate of fear is causing a historic pullback of business meetings and events, with a devastating impact on small businesses, American workers and communities.”

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