• Why a Healthy Exhibitions Industry Needs the Visit U.S. Coalition

    Over the past few years, the United States has witnessed a growing decline in international travelers, a cause for concern with several travel organizations. Earlier this year, 10 business associations launched the Visit U.S. Coalition in an effort to reverse the growing unpopularity of the U.S. as a destination for international travelers – both business and leisure.

    Since 2015, the United States is one of only two out of the top dozen destinations to see a decline in long-haul travel. Additionally, while global travel volume increased 7.9 percent from 2015 to 2017, travel to the U.S. fell 1.7 percent in the same period – the first drop after more than a decade of consistent growth.

    The trend has only accelerated as President Donald Trump enacted efforts to restrict immigration. That’s why some of the travel industry’s biggest players formed the Visit U.S. Coalition to encourage the Trump administration to endorse friendlier visa and border-security policies to better promote international travel to the U.S.

    Exhibitions and events rely on a healthy travel industry to conduct business. International travel not only creates jobs for the exhibitions and events industry, it also spurs economic activity in the U.S. economy through hotel stays, travel spending and other purchases of goods and services at American businesses. That’s why it’s more important than ever that the exhibitions and events industry support the efforts of the Visit U.S. Coalition and encourage our elected officials to enact policies that promote international travel to the United States.

    If you are interested in advocating for the exhibitions and events industry with our elected officials, we encourage you to register for Exhibitions Day 2018. You will join hundreds of your colleagues to form a collective voice that advocates for the needs of the exhibitions and events industry. If you would like to learn more about the  Exhibitions Mean Business advocacy issues, please visit our Advocacy Center.

    For more information on Visit U.S. Coalition, please visit www.visituscoalition.com.

  • Why You Should Advocate for Better Airport Infrastructure

    Advocacy is crucial to enacting change. Whether that change happens within political, economic or social institutions, advocacy involves the communication of knowledge in support of an issue to persuade decision makers on how to act. By that definition, advocacy is a process and cannot be accomplished at a single moment in time. That’s why we must continue to champion our exhibitions industry issues beyond Exhibitions Day and throughout the year.

    Recently, we’ve seen some advocacy efforts in opposition to our Exhibitions Day issues garner some traction, particularly our desire for airport infrastructure improvements and the removal of the cap on the passenger facility charge (PFC). You can read more about our stance on the PFC cap on the Exhibitions Day 2017 webpage.

    On September 28, twenty House members sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to reject the increase to the PFC cap outlined in the Senate Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. Exhibitions Mean Business supports the increase in the PFC cap, which was last raised in 2000 and has since seen nearly half of its impact eroded by inflation, to help fund much needed infrastructure improvements at airports nationwide. Unfortunately, led by strong airline opposition, organizations such as Americans for Tax Reform, Airlines for America and National Taxpayers Union oppose increasing the PFC cap and have successfully been advocating to keep it at $4.50. Additionally, these groups have been successful in garnering local media coverage using localized statistics:

    While the Exhibitions Mean Business campaign disagrees with the arguments made in the letter and these articles, we need your help to voice our support for the PFC cap to local media, the Senate Appropriations Committee and other decision makers behind the key legislative issues from Exhibitions Day 2017. Learn how you can contact your elected officials via the Advocacy Center on the Exhibitions Mean Business website.

    Think your advocacy efforts won’t make a difference? Read the below success story from a recent attendee at Exhibitions Day 2017:

    “I remember you”. That’s what Senator Bill Nelson’s aide first said as he greeted us in the Senate Hart Office Building. “Exhibitions and tradeshows, right? You were here last year talking about Zika, and here’s what the Senator did after your visit”. Wow. I was almost speechless! The Senator fought for funding to educate people about Zika because of its potential devastating impact on the tourism industry in his home state of Florida. We had made a difference.

    While we weren’t addressing Zika this year, we were tackling issues that are equally important. This year, we were there promoting Fair and Free Trade, specifically asking for support of Brand USA, asking representatives to co-sponsor the Stop Hotel Booking Scams Act, and to support America’s Airport Infrastructure Act.

    I’ve attended Exhibitions Day all four years since it’s inception, and the impact is growing every year. Not only are members of Congress now remembering us, they remember our causes, and take them to heart.

     – Carrie Ferenac, CNTV

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