Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said in an annual state of the industry address that the organization is asking corporate leaders “to take a really hard look at the importance of business travel.” He said: “You can’t rebuild an economy on Zoom.” Dow also said that the recovery of the meetings industry is crucial, asserting that they can be and are being held safely, adding, “attending a meeting is safer than going to your local grocery store.” Tori Emerson Barnes, vice president of public affairs and policy, said U.S. Travel is working in Congress to promote targeted temporary tax credits and deductions to stimulate spending on business travel, live entertainment and in-person business events. Dow and Barnes highlighted the five key areas of focus that will drive the association and the broader travel industry in the months and years ahead:
  • Workforce
  • Facilitation and security
  • The future of travel mobility
  • Sustainability
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
“We have a robust policy agenda and a clear strategy to revive America’s travel industry, but Congress and the Biden administration must continue to work closely with the travel sector to help the industry bounce back quickly,” said Dow. The association, he said, will urge the administration to drop its testing requirement for vaccinated inbound travelers, saying it hopes the US will follow the UK’s lead. The UK will end COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated inbound adult travelers and for all inbound travelers under age 18, beginning Feb. 11.