Travel Industry Responds to Companies Cutting Back on Corporate Travel
Several major companies in the United States that received money from the government during the pandemic have cut back on travel spending to avoid backlash.
According to Reuters.com, public backlash is forcing politicians to a close eye on companies that received government loans or other support, a move that could cost thousands of jobs in the U.S. hospitality industry, according to hotel, casino and airline leaders.
American businesses have become wary of attracting attention with flashy trips, as government officials continue to feel pressure from their constituents. Companies like Wells
Fargo canceled a trip to Las Vegas for 40 insurance employees to attend a business conference due to the possibility of backlash.
“You can’t take a trip to Las Vegas or down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime,” former President Barack Obama said.
Officials in the travel industry said during the Reuters Travel and Leisure Summit in New York that the sentiment echoed by politicians about corporate travel will hurt the economy and delay recovery.
“It's a real disservice to the U.S. travel industry and the global travel industry,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said. “There has been this demonization of corporate travel and group travel which really threatens to fundamentally hurt the infrastructure of travel.” “We hope that the rhetoric lessens because it is absolutely hurting the business,” Khosrowshahi continued.
The U.S. Travel Association revealed that meetings, conventions and other corporate travel-related events make up nearly 15 percent of all travel in the country, which results in $101 billion in spending, one million jobs and $16 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
To combat the negative perception, the U.S. Travel Association launched its “Meetings Mean Business” campaign to prevent companies from canceling thousands of events.