Dear Power of Travel Coalition,
Our efforts over the past several years to amplify the travel industry's relevance with policymakers resulted in a major win for our industry this week. Yesterday in Orlando, FL, President Obama announced a national strategy on travel and tourism to boost travel to and within the United States.
Key components of the President's initiative include the creation of an interagency task force charged with developing a National Travel & Tourism Strategy, shortening visa wait times, expanding Global Entry, promoting our national parks, and working to expand the visa waiver program.
• The current status of The Power of Travel Coalition.
•Why cities participate to support travel during U.S. Travel Rally Day.
Each year the U.S. Travel Rally Day is held to bring awareness of the impact travel has on local workers, businesses and economies. In May, staged events are held in cities nationwide, which is recognized as National Travel and Tourism Week.The main message of the week is, travel matters to the nation and to local communities. By uniting travel workers and supporters, the message is made public to media, elected officials and the residents.
Steven Hacker, FSAE, CAE
On September 15, the Office of Government Ethics released proposed regulations that would prohibit most federal government employees from attending essential trade events of the industries they are charged with regulating, including most of the nation's 10,000 annual exhibitions. Steven Hacker, FSAE, CAE, president of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), issued the following statement today.
"The proposed rules released recently by the Office of Government Ethics represent the latest and the most serious assault on American business, large and small, businesses that must be permitted to power and grow the U.S. economy. This reckless intrusion into commerce, if adopted, would further isolate regulators from the industries they must understand. The learning and communications that routinely take place during trade events are among the most important ways that government officials and business leaders can exchange views and ideas.
by Roger Dow
Dear Travel Colleague,
As U.S. Travel began to focus in earnest on ways to advance the industry's interests in Washington a few short years ago, we reached out for guidance to experts who provided a sobering reality check. The consensus view was that as part of a comprehensive strategy to make our voice heard we needed to develop two important resources we did not at that time possess: 1) an effective grassroots organization capable of being activated at critical times, and 2) a well-funded political action committee (PAC).
With your help and the help of hundreds of thousands in the travel community, we are well on our way toward building both resources and are already reaping the rewards of our investment.
** With the wide array of issues taking place among airlines these days, take precautions if your attendees will be flying to your meeting. Adjust the language of your force majeure clauses to ensure you’re covered if attendees can’t make it due to mass cancellations of flights.
Travel Has HUGE Economic Impact
$737 billion in spending
The US Travel Association’s The Power of Travel website (poweroftravel.org) provides an economic breakdown state-by-state to showcase the power of travel in America. Overall, the economic impact of travel in the US is $737 billion in spending, $115 billion in tax receipts, 7.6 million jobs, and a payroll of $194 billion. Here is the 2007 breakdown of states in the Midwest.
Leaders from key organizations representing the travel, meetings and events industries issued the following statement regarding federal government efforts to curtail meetings, events and incentive travel programs among companies that have received emergency government lending:
“Americans expect Congress and the Obama Administration to responsibly and effectively oversee the use of taxpayer dollars to companies receiving emergency government lending. Americans also expect the business community and elected leaders to protect jobs and help the country rebound as quickly as possible from the current economic crisis.
In a word: big. That’s the religious travel market, which represents about $18 billion in worldwide business and 300 million global travelers, according to Kevin J. Wright, president of the World Religious Travel Association. These figures include travel to faith-based meetings and events. And it’s nothing for some of these gatherings to draw thousands upon thousands of attendees each year.
“Today’s faith tourism marketplace involves churches, religious groups and individuals that gather together for a greater variety of reasons and purposes than ever before,” Wright says. “These gatherings can range from ‘business-like’ denominational conventions to entertainment venues, such as faith-based concerts and festivals, to education-driven conferences to inspirational and spiritually-focused events.”
• Transportation to keep your event moving
• Out-of-the-box travel optionsWhen it comes down to it, transportation is one of the least exciting parts of meeting and event planning. Basically, you want to spend the least amount of time and money getting people from point A to point B, with maybe a few jaunts to points C and D, then back to point A, right? Maybe not. Dare I suggest that maybe there are some unique and even fun ways that can be incorporated into the usual logistics of transportation? In the Midwest, the answer is - absolutely!
Flying InThere are several reasons the Midwest is such a popular choice for meetings and conventions. It’s “meeting in the middle” for people traveling from around the US, it has reasonable airfare and availability of flights and it offers easy access for people driving in. Branson, MO is one such city. “Getting to Branson is easy, whether you drive or arrive by air. Branson is less than a day’s drive for one-third of America and with low-cost flights to the new Branson Airport, as well as Springfield-Branson National Airport, it’s never been easier for your group to get to Branson,” said Lynn Berry, Director of Public Relations, Branson/Lakes Area C of C and CVB. General Mitchell International airport in Milwaukee, WI has been ranked by Conde Nast as one of the top five airports for business travel in the US for the past three years. It offers nonstop service to 40 cities and connections worldwide.
On a recent flight within the US, a flight attendant leaned in to tell me a secret. She informed me that most of the defibrillators on her company airlines were defective and being recalled.
I decided I would just drink wine and not think about my beating heart stopping. My new friend, the flight attendant, then told me that her airlines stopped carrying the good wine and was now serving a cheap brand. I decided to go for a Budweiser.
The attendant then informed me that the morning crew did not pick up ice, so there were no cold beverages. Because of this, our flight would be delayed until someone could find ice to bring to the plane. Then it would take about two hours for the beer to chill.
My flight was two hours long.