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

New Research Further Proves Benefits of Open Skies

June 23, 2017

Amidst the lingering anti-Open Skies assault by the Big 3 legacy carriers, America's broader travel community has strengthened our push to protect this critical policy. New research shows the continued positive growth Open Skies agreements bring to the U.S. economy.

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Under-Vacationed America: An Analysis of the States and Cities that Need to Take A Day

June 08, 2017

BREAKING DOWN VACATION IN AMERICA
Despite improvement in Americans' vacation habits last year, half (54%) of employees still left time on the table. The implications of our...

Brand USA / discoveramerica.com

For the Record: Brand USA is An Investment Worth Protecting

June 02, 2017

Brand USA, America’s tourism marketing office, greatly benefits our economy and enjoys broad bipartisan support. America’s travel community can name several reasons why it’s worth keeping. 

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Industry Unites for National Travel and Tourism Week

May 12, 2017

Hundreds of events and rallies were successfully staged across the U.S this week to celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week, with many embracing this year’s theme, the “Faces of Travel.” 

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Lack of Choice for Air Travelers Debated at Congressional Hearings

May 05, 2017

In addition to passing a funding bill this week averting a shutdown and keeping the federal government operating through September, Congress held three separate hearings on travel-related issues.

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DCH Congressional Meetings

Engaging With Your Lawmakers: It’s Worth the Effort Year-Round

April 19, 2017

Last month’s Destination Capitol Hill fly-in broke records—but the travel industry’s work engaging with lawmakers can’t stop there. 

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