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

Why it matters: Meetings and events-related travel spending remained at just 30% of 2019 levels in 2021, and total two-year losses (2020 and 2021) amounted to $186 billion. While the sector is expected to partially recover in 2022, spending is still projected to remain at just 68% of 2019 levels when adjusted for inflation.

To get business back, we must get back to business—in-person.

Our research shows more than three-quarters (77%) of executives consider business travel essential.

However, findings from the Q3 Business Travel Tracker revealed that more than six in 10 corporate executives expect their company will spend less on business travel over the next six months compared to the same period in 2019.

The reality: Headwinds are on the horizon. With a mild recession likely in the coming months, many companies are expected to tighten spending amid a challenging economic environment.

To accelerate our industry’s full recovery, companies must prioritize a return to normal business travel operations to bring people together not only to conduct business and build meaningful relationships but also to bolster our economy.


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 our The Latest Travel Monthly Data Report and our quarterly Business Travel Tracker.

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RECOMMENDATIONS

Congress should remove disincentives in the tax code that discourage companies from spending on in-person meetings and business travel by enacting the Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act (H.R.9231)

The Federal government should return to in-person work and travel

The Federal government should play a role in drawing large, international meetings and events to the U.S., as proposed in the Visit America Act (H.R. 6965/ S.1947), which would help spur business travel and increase our global competitiveness

The U.S. Department of State should take steps to greatly reduce visitor visa interview wait times to facilitate more international business travel

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

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FORECAST

Travel Forecast

November 29, 2022

The latest forecast projects that domestic leisure travel, which has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, will remain resilient while domestic business travel will continue its slow but steady recovery. International inbound travel will remain sluggish as it continues to face headwinds, with a full recovery not expected prior to 2025.
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THE ITINERARY

U.S. Travel’s Director of Research Products Jamie Mageau details high-level findings from travel businesses' Q3 earnings statements and provides insight into how some of the largest corporate players are viewing the recession, the state of their sector’s recovery and the general economy.

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