A return to a thriving travel industry—and American economy—is dependent on the return of business travel and PMEs.

Why it matters: Total direct travel spending recovered to 75% of 2019 levels in 2021. However, total business travel remained at just 53% of 2019 levels in 2021—and group meetings and events were at a meager 36% of 2019 levels.

But a return to a thriving travel industry—and American economy—is dependent on the swift return of business travel and open international travel market. 

Studies show that 86% of business travelers are ready to get back on the road with the right protocols in place.

However, inconsistent policies on the resumption of travel are sending harmful messages counter productive to the recovery of the travel industry. As we reach an endemic state, we must communicate the importance of a return to normal in a consistent way at every level of government, ending inconsistent messages and restrictions across different parts of the U.S. 

The reality: Travelers, business leaders and C-Suite decision-makers look to the government for guidance on corporate travel policy and we must send “back to business” messages beginning with getting back to work, back to business travel and travel in general. 

It is critical that we get back to meeting in person, as we know that face-to-face meetings deliver additional benefits for both the employee and employer.


Business travel and professional meetings and events are critical to the full recovery of not only travel, but also the U.S. economy as a whole. For current metrics on business travel and more, see our monthly data report.

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