Latest Industry/Economy News...
'Dynamism' of U.S. Travel Sector Outlined in State of the Industry Address
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow recently delivered the State of the Travel Industry address via a video message to the industry, in what is intended to become an annual series.
Dow extolled the industry's above-average growth rate, emphasized the need to enact travel-friendly policies to keep travel thriving and underscored U.S. Travel's ongoing commitment to monitor conditions and trends. Excerpts from Dow's remarks are included below.
On the industry:
"Travel continues to be an economic powerhouse. The dynamism of our industry was on full display last year, setting records across the board—2.1 billion domestic trips; 74 million in international visitors; $927 billion in travel expenditures; and 8 million workers directly employed in travel jobs."
On policy issues:
"Top agenda items include protecting and advancing the Visa Waiver Program; improving travel facilitation, such as the entry process; and modernizing America's travel infrastructure and airports.
"The U.S. Visa Waiver Program strengthens our homeland security, as affirmed by leading security experts through high levels of intelligence sharing among participating nations...
"Modernizing America's travel infrastructure, including airports and the air travel system, is central to our nation's long-term success...This starts with Congress reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Surface Transportation programs this year."
On economic conditions and trends:
"[T]he travel industry does not operate in a vacuum, and we are paying close attention to developments that could impact travel...
"Gasoline prices...have fallen to the lowest level since May 2009. Persistent low prices are good for travel, as people are more likely to hit the road for trips and will have greater purchasing power for other goods and services.
"Since mid-last year, the strength of the dollar has increased by about 7 percent. This is good news for Americans, but what does it mean for inbound international travel? It would take some time for a sustained change to the dollar to have an affect here...[T]he cost of consumer goods here in the U.S. remains lower compared to many other major economies around the world."
Watch Dow's full address here.
MPI Winter 2015 Edition of Meetings Outlook Report Now Available
Meeting Professionals International (MPI) has published its Meetings OutlookTM, 2015 Winter Edition. The newest installment of the quarterly special report indicates business is up and getting healthier. Though, the rising global seller’s market will continue to task meeting professionals suffering from shorter lead times and budgets that aren’t keeping pace with costs.
Key findings include the following:
To view the full report, visit www.mpiweb.org/meetingsoutlook. A printed copy is included in the February 2015 issue of MPI’s award-winning magazine, The Meeting Professional®, as well.
Meetings Outlook is now developed in partnership with VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, and is supported in partnership with the IMEX Group.
AH&LA Unveils 2015 Policy Agenda
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) today unveiled its 2015, “A Policy Agenda,” covering the priority issues most important to the health and success of the lodging sector.
The hotel industry is thriving and creating jobs and strengthening communities across the country. With nearly 5 million guests checking into hotels across the country every day, the industry generated $163 billion in lodging sales revenue last year, and raised $134 billion in business travel tax revenue – much needed dollars that go back into local towns, cities and states. Further, labor data show growth month after month, with our sector recovering from pre-recession lows and is now at its highest level since 2008. The hotel industry is also unique in its ability to offer entry-level jobs that provide good pay and benefits as well as quick opportunities for promotion. The majority of job positions in the lodging industry pay above minimum wage. Entry-level jobs offer a fast-track to upward mobility and serve as a gateway for new workers to enter the lodging industry.
“The American Hotel & Lodging Association will continue to showcase the power of our industry and the strength of our numbers in the halls of Congress and state capitols and city councils across the country, and push for policies that allow this job-creating industry to provide opportunities for entry-level workers to climb the ladder of success. What happens in Washington, D.C. has a significant impact on hotels – many of which are small businesses,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO. “Lawmakers must make every effort to protect these jobs: From safeguarding the franchise model to restoring a 40-hour work week to creating a level playing field when it comes to new entrants in the marketplace as well as with online travel companies to further increasing international travel to the U.S., these are all issue areas which preserve our industry’s ability to drive growth.”
Lawmakers, stakeholders and Administration officials can expect to hear from the hotel industry regarding the following topics this year:
Technology and Distribution
Travel and Tourism
The policy agenda was revealed at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles. Co-hosted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and the Burba Hotel Network (BHN), the two-and-a-half-day ALIS event features an extensive array of seminars and panels hosted by leading experts and investors discussing important trends and identifying new opportunities. The conference attracts the lodging industry’s leading hotel executives, investors, lenders, developers, and professional advisory community.
The First Ever North American Meetings Industry Day to be Held in 2015
The first ever North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID) will be held on Thursday, April 16, 2015, as a key component of the Meetings Mean Business Campaign, an information and advocacy platform promoting the industry’s role in driving business success as well as to illustrate the impact the industry has on businesses, economies and communities. This event was inspired by the very successful and 20 year strong Canadian National Meetings Industry Day created by the Canadian Chapters of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Meetings industry organizations and chapters from the U.S., Canada and Mexico will hold events on or the week of April 16th to recognize and celebrate the day, making a powerful statement on the value of the global meetings industry.
The Convention Industry Council (CIC) in collaboration with the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, will facilitate and support CIC members, chapters and other coalition members and stakeholders in implementing the NAMID strategies and activities.
“The impact and reach of CIC’s 33 national and international associations has the unique ability to push this important initiative through the federation members’ chapters and build a grassroots network of advocates for the Meetings Mean Business campaign,” said David DuBois, CMP, CAE, FASAE, CTA, President & CEO of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events and 2015 Chairman of the Convention Industry Council. “Both CIC and IAEE are members of the MMB Coalition, and in my dual leadership role, I will utilize the power of both organizations to help launch the first North American Meetings Industry Day.”
Toolkit materials are being developed for distribution to chapters, participants and event leaders including, suggested activities and events as well as sample proclamations, media strategies and other campaign materials.
You can register your organization or as an individual supporter for NAMID here.
Read the full release from the CIC here.
10 Trends Pain ta Picture of the Future of Incentive Travel in 2015
A new study by the Incentive Research Foundation, Rebounding the Recession: The Future of Incentive Travel 2015, finds that incentive travel rewards are perfectly matched to the emerging needs of today’s multi-generational workforce and corporate America’s simultaneous move toward enterprise engagement.
Following are the top 10 highlights from the study that discuss various drivers behind this conclusion:
For more on the IRF study, Rebounding the Recession: The Future of Incentive Travel 2015, go to
Meeting Budgets Continue to Rise According to 2015 State Of The Meetings Industry Survey
In its third annual 'State of the Meetings Industry' survey of more than 185 meeting planners nationwide, Destination Hotels sheds light on the recent trends affecting the planning and execution of meetings and events. As the largest operator of independent hotels and resorts in North America, Destination asked an experienced group of corporate, association, government and independent planners—55 percent of whom control more than $100,000 per year in direct meeting spend for their organizations—about how their planning duties and their meetings themselves are changing. These changes stem from general macroeconomic trends, the continued strength of the hospitality industry in particular, attendees' evolving needs and preferences, advancing technology, and other factors.
Here is a summary of the survey results, plus front-line analysis.