U.S. Travel Association recently hosted its Future of Travel Mobility conference which brought together seasoned policymakers and influential industry and business leaders to explore the exciting new innovations that will shape travel’s future—and the policies that will help us get there.

It’s a pivotal moment in time for our industry. The decisions we make today will lay the foundation for a reimagined traveler experience and radically transform how—and where—we travel for years to come.

After an action-packed day of insightful conversations, I came away from the conference with five key takeaways:

  • First, we’re seeing very encouraging signs of travel’s comeback, but recovery is not guaranteed. We must deliver a welcoming experience for travelers from around the world, embrace diversity, protect America’s natural treasures, modernize our travel infrastructure and streamline visa processing. Our actions now will determine what travel looks like in a post-pandemic world.
  • Second, the good news is that the reports of the death of business travel were greatly exaggerated. As American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Robert Isom said, the idea that business travel won’t recover is “wrong, wrong, wrong.” As Enterprise Holdings President and Chief Executive Officer Chrissy Taylor said, there are strong indicators that business travel is gaining momentum.
  • Third, as members of our industry work to win back business and international travel, they’re not just competing with each other; they’re competing with technology. That means travel needs to be as friction-free as possible. As MGM Resorts International’s Chief Executive Officer and President Bill Hornbuckle said, we also need to make a compelling case for meetings and events and demonstrate the value they create. 
  • Fourth, if you build, it, they will come. Amtrak found that when they introduce new services and upgrade the traveler experience, people respond. Customer preferences are shifting quickly and it’s our job to meet—and exceed—their expectations. Travelers are looking to the industry for sustainability and mobility solutions—and it’s up to us to lead. 
  • And finally, we’re on the cusp of some truly exciting transformations in travel mobility. From rail travel and autonomous vehicles to supersonic jets, emerging technologies promise greater connectivity and comfort thanks to the vision and hard work of today’s visionary entrepreneurs and innovators.

Thank you to all our speakers and panelists for sharing their expertise and insights at this momentous time for our industry. The Future of Travel Mobility conference provided us with an exciting glimpse as to what the future holds—now, it’s up to us to work together and make that vision a reality. And when our industry comes together, anything is possible! 

In This The Itinerary
Tori Emerson Barnes is Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy, at the U.S. Travel Association, the leading voice for all segments of the U.S. travel and tourism industry. Barnes directs the association's public affairs and external... View Profile ›

U.S. Travel

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