77th Annual Meeting

SUPPORT MEETINGS, EVENTS AND INCENTIVE TRAVEL TO PROTECT LOCAL ECONOMIES

WHEREAS, business-related travel - including travel for meetings, events and performance incentives - is a vital part of our economy and essential to sustaining well-paying American jobs, the health of large and small businesses and the solvency of public services supported by federal, state and local tax-revenue; and

WHEREAS, business travel creates 2.4 million jobs, injects more than $240 billion into the national economy annually and generates $39 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue; and

WHEREAS, travel for meetings and events creates 1 million jobs in local communities - from big cities to small towns - across the United States; and

WHEREAS, many of these jobs support working families in the hospitality and food service industries; and

WHEREAS, each meeting and event traveler spends an average of $1,000 per trip; and

WHEREAS, meetings and events travel generates $27 billion in wages for hardworking Americans that are critical to local economies across the United States, and can play a critical role in our nation's economic recovery; and

WHEREAS, meetings and events provide $16 billion in tax revenue at the federal, state and local level that finance essential services such as schools, police and fire departments; and

WHEREAS, meetings and events contribute $101 billion in spending to the U.S. economy; and

WHEREAS, meetings and events are responsible for nearly 15 percent of all travel in the United States; and

WHEREAS, business travel, particularly meetings and events, are core functions that help companies to strengthen business relationships, align and educate employees and customers, and reward business performance; and

WHEREAS, there has been a dramatic downturn in business travel for meetings, events and performance incentive purposes due not only to our nation's economic recession, but also to fear in the marketplace caused by a negative perception of these types of travel; and

WHEREAS, when companies cancel meetings and events American workers and local communities become the unintended victims; and

WHEREAS, without the jobs generated by meetings, events and incentive travel, the current unemployment rate of 7.6 percent would rise to 8.2 percent and cost the average American household an additional $136 in annual taxes; and

WHEREAS, according to estimates by Smith Travel Research and the U.S. Travel Association, meeting, event and incentive cancellations in January and February 2009 resulted in more than $1.9 billion in lost travel spending and cost nearly 20,000 American jobs; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Treasury Department soon will implement the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act's (ARRA) mandate to require TARP companies to develop policies on "excessive" or "luxury" expenditures; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors urges the U.S. Treasury Department to provide guidance to TARP companies with regard to developing policies about how meetings and events should be "conducted within the normal course of the business operations;" and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that mayors across the United States support travel for meetings and events as a means for boosting their local economies and saving American jobs.