Congress and federal workers rely on meetings, conferences and business travel as indispensable tools to do their jobs effectively. Meetings and conferences enable successful information sharing, employee training and development, taxpayer services, and collaboration with other agencies and private-sector partners in a way that cannot be accomplished by other means. U.S. Travel continues to be a leading voice in reminding policymakers of the value of government meetings and travel under all fiscal environments.

Quick Facts

During the financial crisis in 2009, U.S. Travel was an early and effective voice in amplifying the benefits of business travel for meetings, conferences and events.  It created the Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) to showcase the incredible value that business meetings, travel and events bring to the U.S. economy.  The MMBC provides resources, tools and information to show the real impact the industry has on businesses, economies and communities.

An important component of business meetings and travel is conducted by government workers.  Federal employee travel is an essential component of conducting inspections, certifications, training and investigations in areas like food safety, aircraft manufacturing and maintenance, transportation safety, law enforcement, military training, and emergency preparedness and response.

Face-to-face meetings play a vital role in connecting people and driving effective results. Federal agencies depend on in-person meetings to build and maintain strong relationships, initiate public-private partnerships and develop high-performing talent.  Meetings also serve as a platform for education and training, through conventions and conferences that focus on skill-building and workforce development.

Recommendations

Prevent waste, but preserve travel

Congress and federal agencies should develop government travel policies that prohibit wasteful spending, encourage responsible travel, and incorporate private sector best-practices

Demonstrate travel’s ROI

The federal government, in partnership with the private sector, should develop research and information for policymakers that demonstrates the value of government travel, the return on investment government meetings and travel brings, and travel’s critical role in providing services and delivering results for American taxpayers.

Guard against misguided policies

Policymakers should resist attempts to unnecessarily limit or discourage government meetings and travel, particularly across-the-board budget cuts.

Research, News and Commentary on Government Meetings and Travel

Busy sidewalk

U.S. Travel Welcomes Trump Selection of Wilbur Ross for Secretary of Commerce

December 01, 2016

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on news that President-elect Trump will nominate Wilbur Ross to lead the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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Roger Dow Commentary

Travel Should Be the Bridge—Not the Ammo—in America’s Culture Wars

November 16, 2016

We’re all better off when travel is not weaponized through bans and boycotts, but instead used as a unifying force for building understanding.

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U.S. Travel Readies to Engage New Administration, Congress with Bipartisan Agenda

November 04, 2016

Ahead of Election Day, U.S. Travel continues its efforts to reinforce travel’s value and impact in the eyes of our nation’s leaders. No matter the outcome, our industry is poised to continue progress and to advance our priorities with the next administration and new Congress.

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Friday Check-in Still (NEW)

U.S. Travel Campaign Featured in Las Vegas During Final Presidential Debate

October 21, 2016

With all eyes on Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this week at the final presidential debate, U.S. Travel was on the ground with our industry positioning campaign touting that travel is “More than fun. It’s serious business.”

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New York Times: Even the President Understands the Value of Being a Traveler

October 11, 2016

President Obama makes a point to see the sights when he travels on official business and prioritizes vacations with his family. In doing so, he not only highlights all the U.S. has to offer, but also sets a great example for our country—and for future occupiers of the Oval Office.

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Travel Industry Supports Reinstating DOD Per Diems

September 09, 2016

Restoring Department of Defense travel per diem levels is a smart move that will ameliorate some of the unintended negative consequences of previous cuts.

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