Lancer Insurance
Friday, May 24, 2024
US Chamber of Commerce

The US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and the US Travel Association (USTA) are laying out their predictions for the business climate ahead, and it shows good news for small business owners—but there’s some work ahead in the business travel arena.

On January 11, USCC held its State of America Business via video, which included a welcome address from USCC President & CEO Suzanne Clark. As a staunch supporter of free enterprise, Clark’s message—which is consistent as the goal of the organization—was one of optimism now and looking ahead. Acknowledging the pessimism that is plaguing the country leading up to the next election, Clark instead chose to focus on what’s happening on Main Street.

USCC USCC President & CEO Suzanne Clark

“Does America have challenges? You bet we do. Are we at the US Chamber of Commerce pessimistic about it? Not on your life,” she said regarding the divisive political ads and headlines prominent during the election year. “When you try a new technology, when you launch a new product or service, when you sell into a new market, when you make a 5-year plan, or you simply show up to work and give the best that you’ve got … it’s all optimism.”

As the organization is in favor of government policies that don’t inhibit free enterprise, she explained: “The role of government is to foster the conditions that enable human potential and empower businesses to serve people, solve problems, and strengthen society. That means letting markets work and protecting them from government intrusion. Passing pro-growth public policies that are workable and predictable. Setting smart regulations that clearly signal to businesses the rules of the road and exercising the fundamental duties of keeping the government open and running.”

The full address is available here.

US Travel Association

Around the same time, USTA released its biannual forecast through 2027 (in conjunction with Tourism Economics) regarding travel to and from the US. International travel to the US continues to recover, and while it’s growing quickly, it still lags behind pre-pandemic levels at around 84 percent. Predictions for 2024 suggest it will hit 98 percent.

Business travel is also seeing growth, it too has yet to cross 2019 highs. The forecast shows that incoming US business travel could hit 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year, although predictions for domestic business travel don’t show recovery until after 2027.

Leisure travel, which fueled the post-pandemic bump, is slowing down a bit; the report cited higher borrowing costs, tighter credit conditions, and the restart of student loan repayments as the reasons.

USTA USTA President & CEO Geoff Freeman

“While we inch back to pre-pandemic travel numbers, other countries are actively advancing strategies to gain international visitors and are now ahead of the United States in the race to win back the global travel market,” said USTA President & CEO Geoff Freeman. “The federal government can and must enact specific policies to jumpstart a more seamless, efficient and globally competitive travel industry.”

USTA has been calling attention to the issues it sees as the biggest impediments to full international travel to the US, namely the visitor visa interview wait times that are in excess of 400 days in certain markets, as well as customs excessive delays at US points of entry. Among the solutions proposed are long-term fixes to the FAA Reauthorization Bill and adopting the use of biometric security screening like other countries worldwide.

Read the full forecast report here.

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