The news from this afternoon’s free PCMA Webinar — “How to Make the Travel Promotion Act Work for You!” — was hopeful but also sobering. Hopeful because until now, “We have had to do the entirety of marketing on our own as destinations,” said Webinar speaker J. Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau. The Travel Promotion Act, Perry said, “will provide for the first time unified, cohesive American branding.”
But the legislation is also sobering because the situation that at least partly inspired the meetings industry to support it so strongly hasn’t changed all that much. “We have a job as an industry of really convincing elected officials — especially on the home turf, with our representatives and state senators — of why travel matters,” said Webinar speaker Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “I think it’s a darn shame that we had to fight for so long [for funding] to get people to come to the United States. But that’s all a symptom of our elected officials thinking that what we do is frivolous.”
What do you think? Are you expecting the Travel Promotion Act to give your meetings a boost — especially when it comes to attracting international attendees?