The U.S. Travel Association is launching an effort with the goal of jumpstarting business travel recovery.
Themed “Let's Meet There," it focuses on restarting professional meetings and events.
At an event this week at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow announced the “major” campaign and grassroots initiative.
The campaign is designed to reach business executives across all industries, highlighting the competitive benefits associated with professional travel and the value of connecting face-to-face following a lengthy period of meeting virtually.
Dow was joined by co-chairs of U.S. Travel's Meetings Mean Business (MMB) Coalition: Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company; and Michael Massari, chief sales officer for Caesars Entertainment, who expressed the economic need to safely restart business meetings and professionally managed events (PMEs).
The announcement follows the release of a white paper by Ohio State University health care scientists with an analysis of evidence that it is safe to attend PMEs.
The research further differentiates PMEs from other large gatherings, noting that PMEs offer a controlled environment that allows for scientifically proven safety measures.
The Let's Meet There website includes an Action Center that directs travel and other industries' members— who recognize the competitive advantages of restarting PMEs—to resources that enable them to communicate directly with elected officials and business leaders.
The Action Center also includes key messages, fact sheets, sample letters, and a social guide and graphics. Social content uses the hashtag #LetsMeetThere.
A newly released forecast by Tourism Economics for the U.S. Travel Association projects that spending by business travelers, which declined 69% in 2020 from the previous year, will not rebound to its pre-pandemic level until 2024. Policies and consistent guidance can help accelerate the recovery timeline, and business leaders also have an important role to play.