The Meetings Mean Business Coalition (MMBC) and the U.S. Travel Association have announced the full integration of the coalition under the U.S. Travel umbrella.
By integrating with U.S. Travel, MMBC will benefit more directly from U.S. Travel’s robust public affairs resources and advocacy network while providing greater value to coalition members as the business travel and professional meetings and events industries rebuild from steep pandemic-related losses.
“Since its founding, the Meetings Mean Business Coalition and the U.S. Travel Association have been close partners in producing meaningful programs that highlight the value of meetings and business travel events,” said Michael Massari, chief sales officer of Caesars Entertainment and co-chair of MMBC. “Taking this next step to integrate resources will further elevate our collective work as we emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic.”
Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company and co-chair of MMBC, echoed that sentiment.
“Fully integrating Meetings Mean Business and its scope of work under the U.S. Travel Association umbrella makes great strategic sense, given the level of need and advocacy for the recovery of the meetings and business events travel segment,” Dixon said. “We are excited to closely align the coalition’s work further within U.S. Travel and its public affairs program.”
The return of professional meetings and events is vital to the recovery of the travel economy and is a top priority of the association, along with rebuilding international inbound travel and the growth of domestic leisure travel, according to Dow.
“Meeting and business events—in conjunction with international inbound and domestic leisure travel—is one of the three critical segments of the U.S. travel economy,” Dow said. “The overall recovery of the industry relies, in part, on the swift return of professional meetings and events.”
According to U.S. Travel, in 2019, nearly 500 million business trips were taken in the U.S, with $306 billion spent on travel-related goods that supported 2.5 million American jobs. Despite making up just 20 per cent of total trip volume pre-pandemic, business travelers accounted for a disproportionate 40-60 per cent of lodging and air revenue.
Pandemic-related losses in business travel spending in 2020 and 2021 is estimated at $315 billion.
U.S. Travel’s latest forecast projects that domestic business travel spending will reach 76 per cent of 2019 levels in 2022 while the segment is not expected to fully recover until 2024. International business travel spending is projected to reach 65 per cent of 2019 levels in 2022 and fully recover around 2025