Business Travel

By: Hayley Condon, U.S. Travel Association

A firm handshake, a subtle cue, a face-to-face connection—some things just cannot be replicated on Zoom.

America’s smartest business leaders know this. And they know that in-person meetings are one of the most powerful tools at their disposal to help gain the competitive edge in the post-COVID economy.

According to a 2023 survey from J.D. Power and Tourism Economics, 81% of executives view business travel as essential to company operations. A study reported in the Harvard Business Review backs this up, revealing that face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than emailed ones.

Business Traveler

The hard numbers also speak to the effectiveness of business travel and in-person meetings. A 2021 Oxford Economics study featuring statistical modelling over 26 years and 14 industries determined that for every dollar invested in business travel, U.S. companies experienced a $5.90 return in terms of revenue.


In 2022, meeting and events-related travel spending supported 600,000 American jobs.


Face-to-face requests are 34 times more effective than emailed ones.

This is great news for businesses, and it’s also incredibly beneficial to the broader U.S. economy and workforce. In 2022, there was nearly $100 billion in meeting and events-related travel spending—representing 38 percent of all business travel expenditures. That spending supported 600,000 American jobs.
This is why large-scale, in-person events like U.S. Travel’s IPW are so important. Face-to-face meetings are where deals get done, and where economic growth happens. Virtual meetings were a helpful tool to maintain connections during the pandemic, but they were no substitute for meeting a client face to face.
Though much has changed over the course of the past few years, business travel is—and will remain—a worthwhile investment.