Stimulating Meeting and Travel Industries Key to Job Growth

Concerns about layoffs and the slow recovery of the job market are in the news again.

There is an on-going debate about balancing fiscal restraint and the need for stimulus spending to boost the economy. One missed opportunity for job creation is the potential of the meetings, events, hospitality, and business travel sectors to create jobs and kick-start the economy.

During the height of the recession, the Keep America Meeting web portal released data underscoring the value of meetings for the economy. A consortium of 14 organizations representing the meetings industry in the USA funded a landmark study. The results were released on the Meetings Mean Business website:

U.S. meetings industry directly supports 1.7 million jobs

With the country looking for effective ways to work its way out of a recession, the meetings industry plays a critical role in supporting jobs in communities across America, creating environments that foster innovation and business success.

With concern over the growth of jobs increasing, event and conference planners, and hospitality industry professionals would do well to re-visit this information and remind local State and Congressional leaders of these findings.

The U.S. Travel Association has also unveiled the U.S. Travel Plan to Create 1.3 Million Jobs:

Increasing travel to the United States is the most effective form of economic stimulus—supporting communities, injecting billions into the U.S. economy and creating millions of new American jobs.

Perhaps the time has come to consider incentives and tax credit for companies that hold business meetings and corporate events of strategic significance at local event venues that are particularly vulnerable in a turbulent economy (e.g. local 3 and 4 star hotels, boutique hotels, and small inns).

What strategies and incentives would protect and stimulate job growth in the meetings, event and travel industries?

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