Continuing its efforts to raise the political bar of the meetings industry and build broader awareness of its strong role in creating jobs and economic growth, the U.S. Travel Association will host a session at IMEX America 2012 October 9, from 4 - 5:30 p.m./16.00 - 17.30 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
"Building a Stronger Meetings Industry—In Washington and Your Community" speakers will feature Roger Dow, CEO of U.S. Travel; Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and chair of U.S. Travel; and Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.
Heading the panel discussion, Geoff Freeman of U.S. Travel will speak about the meetings and business travel industry as a critical asset to the nation and provide an update on the success of recent political advocacy efforts. He comes to this issue as a well-versed member of the Washington, D.C., community having been a key driver behind the “U.S. Travel Meetings Mean Business” campaign and the Travel Promotion Act. He was also recently made a member of the Passenger Advocacy subcommittee of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee of the Department of Homeland Security.
Ralenkotter, as both chair of U.S. Travel and president of the LVCVA, will provide an inside look into how Las Vegas excels at hosting more than 19,000 meetings annually—an industry that makes a US$6.3 billion impact on the local economy and supports 58,000 jobs.
Adding even more leadership power to the session, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman—a champion for tourism as the “lifeblood” of the Southern Nevada economy—will also address attendees. Her remarks will focus on efforts to keep Las Vegas on the cutting edge of the travel and tourism industry and the evolution of Las Vegas as a destination already offering 150,000 hotel rooms and 10.6 million square feet of meeting space.
“IMEX’s recent Power of 10 global study showed that one of the most pressing challenges for our industry in the next decade is to measure and effectively communicate the strategic and economic value of events and meetings to local, national and global economies,” said Ray Bloom, chairman of the IMEX Group. “This new political advocacy session will provide an update on how far the industry has come in making sure that this true value is fully understood, especially in the U.S. It builds on the efforts we have made over the past 10 years with the Politicians Forum in Frankfurt, but will also offer a distinctly North American perspective. Everyone involved understands that we must keep acting, keep talking and keep working in unison to achieve meaningful and positive change by policy-makers. IMEX America is proud to play its part in helping to drive this effort and in providing a global platform for the continuing debate.”
Please visit our One Industry. One Voice. page for further resources on industry advocacy.