as Vegas, NV – President Obama will speak to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) on Friday in an appearance that could result in a boost to the business-travel and exhibition industry.
The appearance at a joint session of the LVCVA and Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is expected to bury the hatchet between Obama and the travel industry over remarks the president made that contributed to a chill in corporate meetings and other events. A public presidential push for passage of the U.S. Travel Promotion Act is also considered likely.
Obama raised hackles in the industry at the height of the recession last year when he chided executives of strapped financial institutions for jetting off on supposedly lavish corporate junkets on the taxpayers’ dime. Leaders of the trade show industry discovered to their dismay that the admonishment had prompted a wide range of companies to cancel meetings and slash employee travel.
Circumstances have changed in recent months. The LVCVA anticipates the number of visitors to Las Vegas this year will increase to 37.4 million compared to 36.4 million in 2009.
This year has also seen the Travel Promotion Act reach the verge of passage. The Obama administration has been urging Congress to approve a final version the measure, which will promote travel to the U.S. in overseas markets. Industry leaders say the act also has provisions to assist international visitors with the sometimes-frustrating visa process. One additional vote by the Senate will send the bill to the White House for signing.
Reach Chris Meyer, LVCVA vice president of convention sales and chair of the International Association of Exhibitions and Events, at (702) 892-2855 or firstname.lastname@example.org