Restore Business Travel, Meetings and Events

Policy Recommendations to Restore Business Travel, Meetings and Events

A return to a thriving travel industry—and American economy—is dependent on the return of business travel, meetings and events.

In 2021, business travel was still 56% below pre-pandemic levels. Today, the sector remains severely depressed. This is having a disproportionate impact on the overall travel industry’s recovery. Despite making up 20% of total trip volume, business travelers account for 40-60% of lodging and air revenue (pre-pandemic).

U.S. Travel’s Semi-Annual Forecast projects that domestic business travel volume will reach 81% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and 96% in 2023. However, domestic business travel spending, when adjusted for inflation, will not fully recover to pre-pandemic levels within the range of the forecast.

Meetings Mean Business, in partnership with U.S. Travel, is advocating for federal policies that would accelerate the business travel sector’s recovery.

Our recommendations to accelerate the recovery of business travel, meetings and events:

Help revive business travel spending in restaurants and entertainment venues by ensuring a tax extenders package includes:

  • A temporary restoration of the entertainment business expense deduction.
  • An extension of full expensing for business meals.

In addition to a tax extenders package, we are also looking to provide a more stable environment for large in-person meetings, conferences, conventions, trade shows and exhibitions, by enacting legislation that ensures event cancellation insurance continues to cover losses related to disease outbreaks and other public health risks.

Read our recent letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

It is time for corporate leaders and the federal government to get back to business to reignite these valuable face-to-face connections and restore this critical segment of the U.S. economy.

The Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act

MMB, in partnership with U.S. Travel, is continuing to advocate for the Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act (H.R. 9231).

Recent surveys show most business travelers expect to travel less over the next six months than before the pandemic, mostly due to shrinking travel budgets.

The tax code’s discriminatory treatment of business meals and entertainment-related expenses adversely effects travel budgets and per diems, compared to other types of ordinary business expenses.

The Service Worker Economic Stabilization Act would remove disincentives in the tax code that discourage companies from spending on in-person meetings and business travel.

Read more here.

The Visit America Act

MMB, in partnership with U.S. Travel, is continuing to advocate for the Visit America Act (H.R. 6965).

Measures contained in this legislation—including the creation of an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism—will ensure travel issues receive a higher level of focused energy within the administration, better enabling both public and private sector collaboration. 

As travel rebounds, this common-sense legislation will help ensure the federal government focuses on policies that support the travel industry and prioritize sustained recovery and the future competitiveness of our industry and therefore, the country.

Read U.S. Travel’s full list of legislative priorities to restore the travel economy.

Learn more about U.S. Travel’s efforts to reignite in-person meetings and events.