WASHINGTON – November 16, 2021 – The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) and the U.S. Travel Association announced today the full integration of the coalition under the U.S. Travel umbrella, strengthening MMBC’s critical mission of uniting the meetings industry with one strong and powerful voice.
By integrating with U.S. Travel, MMBC will benefit more directly from the association’s robust public affairs resources and advocacy network while providing greater value to coalition members as business travel and professional meetings and events rebuilds from steep pandemic-related losses.
“Since its founding, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and the U.S. Travel Association have been close partners in producing meaningful programs that highlight the value of meetings and business travel events,” said Michael Massari, chief sales officer, Caesars Entertainment and co-chair, Meetings Mean Business Coalition. “Taking this next step to integrate resources will further elevate our collective work as we emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic.”
“Fully integrating Meetings Mean Business and its scope of work under the U.S. Travel Association umbrella makes great strategic sense, given the level of need and advocacy for the recovery of the meetings and business events travel segment,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO, NYC & Company and co-chair, Meetings Mean Business Coalition. “We are excited to closely align the coalition’s work further within U.S. Travel and its public affairs program.”
The return of professional meetings and events is crucial to the recovery of the travel economy and is a top priority of the association, along with rebuilding international inbound travel and the growth of domestic leisure travel.
In 2019, nearly 500 million business trips were taken in the U.S, with $306 billion spent on travel-related goods that supported 2.5 million American jobs. Despite making up just 20% of total trip volume pre-pandemic, business travelers accounted for a disproportionate 40-60% of lodging and air revenue.
Pandemic-related losses in business travel spending in 2020 and 2021 is estimated at $315 billion.
U.S. Travel’s latest forecast projects that domestic business travel spending will reach 76% of 2019 levels in 2022 while the segment is not expected to fully recover until 2024. International business travel spending is projected to reach 65% of 2019 levels in 2022 and fully recover around 2025. The association is advocating for a set of policies to accelerate the travel industry’s recovery.
“Meeting and business events—in conjunction with international inbound and domestic leisure travel—is one of the three critical segments of the U.S. travel economy,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “The overall recovery of the industry relies, in part, on the swift return of professional meetings and events.”
The decision to integrate MMBC into U.S. Travel was formalized during a meeting last week at IMEX America 2021, a highly attended meetings-industry event that emphasized industrywide enthusiasm for the return of business travel, trade shows and events.
Global Meetings Industry Day, a signature program of the MMBC that celebrates the value of professional meetings and events, will take place on April 7, 2022.
For more information, please visit meetingsmeanbusiness.com.