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US Travel Association predicts $1 trillion spending on travel, appoints new CEO

June 23, 2022
3 min read
people at airport
US Travel Association predicts $1 trillion spending on travel, appoints new CEO
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The U.S. Travel Association has a new leader just in time for the rebound in travel post-coronavirus. The lobbying firm that represents airlines, airports, hotels, theme parks and tourism groups announced it has appointed Geoff Freeman as its next CEO and president.

On Sept. 1, Freeman will rejoin the company after nearly a decade of leadership stints at other Washington, D.C.-based trade groups, including the American Gaming Association and the Consumer Brands Association, where he works currently.

“I am eager to get to work on behalf of this incredible industry, which has long held a special place for me," Freeman said in a statement. "There are few industries more essential to the nation’s economy, more connected to consumers and more critical to bringing Americans together than the travel industry. I believe U.S. Travel’s talented team can continue to raise the bar, and I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get started.”

It comes as the current domestic travel surge has contributed to flight delays and cancellations as well as rising airfare and hotel prices; U.S. travel industry experts predict this trend will continue, fueled by pent-up demand to resume regular travel.

Findings from a 2022 travel forecast report predict travelers will spend more than $1 trillion on domestic and international travel this year, according to data collected by the U.S. Travel Association

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Although the association estimates an uptick in domestic travel for the remainder of the year, forecasted spending remains lower than it was 2019, when travelers spent $1.17 trillion in total travel spending.

Of the $1.05 trillion the report expects travelers to cumulatively spend this year, approximately $941 billion will be used for domestic trips; the remaining $109 billion will be used for international travel.

As countries lift strict entry requirements, companies have gradually begun to send employees on business trips; the U.S. Travel Association estimates $222 billion will be spent on business travel and the rest ($827 billion) on leisure travel.

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Since the U.S. government dropped its predeparture COVID-19 testing requirement earlier this month, the travel association expects to see an 18% increase in travelers to the U.S., to the tune of 5.4 million visitors.

Read more: Your flight is canceled or delayed – here’s what you should do next

The incoming CEO is known for helping to craft the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 — the law that established the Corporation for Travel Promotion as a nonprofit tasked with promoting U.S. travel eligible for funding by the U.S. government. He also helped bring TSA PreCheck, the expedited security program, to life.

Despite the predicted upswing in travel, the travel association says 2023 will be "the year" when we see a marked effort toward pre-pandemic travel recovery.

“2023 is going to be the year," Roger Dow, the current president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said earlier this month. "Travel will be back and better than ever.”

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.