On May 13, the U.S. Travel Association delivered a Keep America Meeting petition to the Senate Commerce Committee while it was holding a Senate Hearing on Travel. The online petition was created in February in response to media censure and government scrutiny of the meeting, event and incentive industry.
“Corporate meetings enhance employee and partner performance, fuel company growth and profitability, support the needs of local communities and aid the American economy as a whole,” reads the petition, which was penned by TBA Global Vice President, Marketing, Alison Smith Jenks. “By electronically signing this petition, you will lend your support and help send a message to our legislators nationwide that we need them to take the proactive step of publicly supporting the meetings and events industry in order to hasten the U.S. recovery.”
The petition was delivered the day after Travel Rally Day, a celebration held in 40 U.S. cities to deliver the message that “Travel Matters.” It was signed by more than 21,000 people from all over the world. Signatories included meeting professionals and hospitality workers as well as concerned friends and family members. According to the U.S. Travel Association, one in every eight American jobs is linked to the travel industry, which generates nearly $40 billion of tax revenue at the federal, state and local levels.
“The Keep America Meeting campaign galvanized our industry by giving individuals a collective voice to speak out about the importance of meetings, events and incentive travel programs,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Keep America Meeting is an important grassroots component of our overall Meetings Mean Business campaign. The many petition signatures allow us to tangibly demonstrate the widespread support of this issue to Washington D.C.”
The petition is still available online. The goal is to collect 100,000 signatures and distribute the petition to the White House, every member of Congress and Fortune 200 leaders.