U.S. Travel: Face-to-Face Meetings Benefit the Travel Industry by Creating Increased Revenue

WASHINGTON—Face-to-face meetings and business travel create measurable benefits for companies and organizations—from increased revenue to lasting and effective professional relationships, according to the U.S. Travel Association. This message will be shared with the U.S. travel industry and meetings professionals around the world on Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID), the annual international day of advocacy showing the value of business meetings, trade shows, incentive travel, exhibitions, conferences, and conventions.

“Business leaders know the most persuasive communication doesn’t happen through a screen—it happens when you meet face to face,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman. “Even in a tight economy, face-to-face meetings matter for businesses and workers.”

A 2021 Oxford Economics study featuring statistical modeling over 26 years and 14 industries determined that for every dollar invested in business travel, U.S. companies experienced a $5.90 return in terms of revenue. According to a survey from J.D. Power and Tourism Economics, 81 percent of executives view business travel as essential to company operations—with good reason. A study reported in the Harvard Business Review found that face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than emailed ones.

Downstream Impact on U.S. Economic Sectors, Jobs

Professional meetings and events fuel economic growth and local job creation. In 2022, there was nearly $100 billion in meeting and events-related travel spending—representing 38 percent of all business travel expenditures. That spending supported 600,000 American jobs.


“Professional meetings are critical to the success of other industries like manufacturing, education, and healthcare, bringing together decision makers across the public and private sectors,” said Freeman. “When you think about it, there is practically no industry sector that doesn’t rely on professional travel to advance its business or goals.”

The federal government has a role to play in jumpstarting these business travel activities and should be encouraged to return to the office and get back on the road.

“The federal workforce can provide incredible value to meetings and events while simultaneously setting the tone for private sector companies looking to return to the road,” added Freeman.

GMID is powered by the U.S. Travel Association’s Meetings Mean Business Coalition, co-chaired by Meet Boston president and CEO Martha Sheridan and MGM Resorts International Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer Stephanie Glanzer.

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