IAEE Backs Grassroots Travel Industry Initiative

TSE STAFF
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Washington, DC  ─ The trade show industry is mobilizing support for a new effort to defend and promote the travel industry as a job generator, economy booster and,  in general, a vital business for the U.S.    Membership in “The Power of Travel Coalition” is free.  The coalition aims to amplify the voices of the travel industry to continue pressing Washington to do what it takes to ramp up the number of foreign visitors to the U.S.   It has unveiled a website which includes online tool kits for outreach to Congress and other Federal officials.

“The coalition will, for the first time, unite travel workers across all sectors to champion and grow our industry,” said the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) in a statement of support for the fledgling organization.

The coalition’s web site, www.travelcoalition.org, includes links to resources and strategies to sign up members from companies and destinations. There is also a link to materials used by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) to create virtual town hall meetings. Such events were organized during the midterm election campaign to sound out candidates on their views on support for travel, and to remind them of what is at stake to the industry and the U.S. economy.

The Power of Travel Coalition was launched by the USTA in the aftermath of the November elections and the signing of the U.S. Travel Promotion Act by President Obama. The group said business travel continues to come under assault from government critics who view it as a “frivolous” expense and from overly zealous security requirements that add to the hassle factor of travel or make overseas visitors feel unwelcome.

The IAEE statement said the coalition would act as the travel industry’s voice in ensuring officials consider the impact of their actions. It also noted, “The coalition will work to change this by quickly and effectively responding to attacks on our industry, and proving the value of travel and tourism to policymakers and opinion leaders.”

Reach IAEE President Steven Hacker at (972) 458-8002 or shacker@iaee.com; Roger Dow, USTA president & CEO, at (202) 218-3624 or rdow@ustravel.org