A return to a thriving travel industry—and American economy—is dependent on the full return of business travel, meetings and events.

Business travel, meetings and events produce significant economic contributions to destinations and host communities around the country in the form of travel spending, job creation and tax revenue.

Why it matters: In the past, despite making up 20% of total trip volume, business travelers accounted for 40-60% of lodging and air revenue—underscoring the essential role of this critical segment to the travel industry and our economy.

  • In 2023, total business travel generated $294 billion in travel spending, marking an 81% recovery from 2019 levels.

Transient business travelers generated $175 billion in spending in 2023. While transient business recovered to 83% of 2019 levels in 2023, growth has slowed as companies maintain cost constraints.

Group travel, while initially declining more than transient business travel has made significant progress and is projected to grow faster than transient travel through 2024 as a result of the desire for face-to-face interactions. In 2023, group travel generated nearly $120 billion in spending, recovering to 79% of 2019 levels.

  • Barriers to business travel: While cost constraints remain the top barrier to business travel, travel hassles are having an increasingly negative impact while cost concerns fall.

Some good news: Following months of persistent advocacy from the U.S. travel industry, Congress has passed funding for the office of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism—a presidentially appointed, U.S. Senate-confirmed position that will work to increase international business travel by facilitating large conventions, sporting events and meetings held in the U.S. Funding this position is a step in ensuring the long-term global competitiveness of the United States.

To accelerate our industry’s full recovery, businesses must get back to business in-person.

Business travel and professional meetings and events are critical to the full recovery of not only travel, but also the U.S. economy. For current metrics on business travel and more, see The Latest Travel Monthly Data Report and our quarterly consumer insights including the quarterly Business Travel Tracker in collaboration with JD Power and Tourism Economics.



Nominate and confirm the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel & Tourism

Establish a formal and permanent process to efficiently provide visitor visas for attendees of large international events held in the U.S.

Research, News and Commentary on Reignite In-person Meetings and Events