In an effort to combat the economic losses from cancelled business meetings and events, the U.S. Travel Association has created a “Meetings Mean Business” website and launched a new online “Faces of Travel” contest that will help give voice and momentum to the nationwide campaign. The contest runs through April 24 and hopes to underscore the human, community and economic effects of meeting cancellations.
“As someone who earns your living in the travel industry, you know all about the challenges facing business meetings and events. Business has slowed, and that has likely had a negative impact on your job, your family, your livelihood and your community. Meetings Mean Business invites you to tell the world how the nationwide downturn in legitimate travel is hurting you— not 'fat cats' on Wall Street,” U.S. Travel says, urging industrywide entries in the contest.
Entering is simple, U.S. Travel says. “Create an original, brief (45 to 60 seconds) video telling us why business travel is important to you and why you should be the Face of Travel. Fill out our contest entry form. Then upload your video to our Web site. Entries will be reviewed and posted to our YouTube channel. Then, a winner (or winners) will be selected to be a spokesperson for the campaign. The new Face of Travel will interact with the media, meet with policymakers and help to save millions of jobs across the United States.”
Underlying the contest and the “Meetings Mean Business Campaign” is U.S. Travel’s conviction that the travel community has taken a big hit recently. “Media and policymaker condemnation of spending by companies that have received taxpayer assistance has caused thousands of companies nationwide to cancel legitimate meetings and events. Local communities and travel industry employees are paying the price. To help protect millions of travel-related jobs, we must show the real Faces of Travel.”
Meetings and events are responsible for nearly 15 percent of all travel in the U.S. and create $101 billion in spending, one million jobs and nearly $16 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state and local level. Without the jobs generated by travel for meetings and events, the unemployment rate in the United States would jump from 7.6 percent to 8.2 percent, U.S. Travel reports.
U.S. Travel is conducting its campaign in partnership with the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Destination Marketing Association International, International Association of Exhibitions and Events, Meetings Professional International, National Business Travel Association, Professional Convention and Management Association and SITE (formerly the Society of Incentive Travel Executives). For detailed guidelines for entries and background on the issues visit www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com.