Industry applauds U.S. border opening date for international travelers
The Biden administration has set November 8 as the official date for the United States to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated international visitors arriving by air, land and sea. The news has garnered enthusiastic praise from industry officials. tourism, trade shows and events.
The initial announcement in September of the intention to lift the travel ban November for international visitors arriving in the country was followed by an announcement last week by the US Department of Homeland Security that the borders of Canada and Mexico would also reopen to international arrivals by land and sea.
Under the new policy, international air travelers must show full proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test before boarding their flight to the United States. International visitors arriving by land and sea must also show full proof of vaccination, but are not required to take a COVID-19 test. No quarantine will be required for international visitors. Unvaccinated people who are not U.S. citizens will not be allowed into the country.
The 19-month pandemic travel ban has been a blow to the U.S. economy as it has lost travelers, exhibitors, attendees and other professionals from countries affected by the restrictions, including those from the European Union as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Iran, Mexico and South Africa.
The easing of restrictions on international travelers from around the world will essentially reopen the country to millions of visitors, signaling a major boon for the hospitality and business events industries as they strive to recover. massive losses suffered during the pandemic, according to Roger Dow, chief executive officer of the United States Travel Association.
âThe November 8 date for entry of fully vaccinated people will create confidence in the market, not only for leisure travel, but especially for international business travelers who can now travel to the United States for meetings, conventions and professional events, âDow said. “This critically important travel segment is now well positioned to rebound from a sharp decline in business travel spending by inbound visitors, which fell 80% last year.”
US Travel is currently projecting spending by international visitors on business travel will increase by 160% in 2022 (compared to 2021), reaching around $ 24 billion, although this is only 65% ââof its 2019 level. This spending supports millions of dollars. US jobs, which depend on the return of international business travel, according to Dow.
Finally, having a confirmed border reopening date for international travelers is a blessing for shows in the United States, according to David Audrain, CEO and Executive Director of the Society of Independent Show Organizers (SISO) and co-chair of Alliance Exhibitions & Conferences (CEA).
âWe have been advocating for this firm date for most of the past year, as international participation is essential for many shows,â Audrain said. âThe largest international participation in many shows often comes from Canada and Mexico, so reopening these borders completely is also a huge step forward for our industry. “
Trade events are key growth engines for small businesses and essential to a full economic recovery, according to Audrain, who also highlighted the recent search by Epistemix as evidence that the risk of COVID-19 infection during business events is extremely low.
âWe are confident that our industry can operate safely and bring valuable events back to the industries and businesses we serve,â he said.
Sherrif Karamat, President and CEO of the Professional convention management association (PCMA) also believes that November 8 will mark a critical time stamp for the business events industry.
âIt’s critical that we get back to business and deliver value to our audience,â Karamat said. âThe timing could not be better, as we hope to welcome the world into Meeting of leaders 2022 To Forum of the Caesars in Las Vegas from January 9 to 12.
Now is also a great time to IMEX America, which is due to take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas from November 8-11 and is hailed as a “back home ‘for industry.
âWe are delighted with the news,â said Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group. âThis gives the green light to hundreds of other global buyers, exhibitors and industry professionals to come to Las Vegas for IMEX America.
Bauer called the move to ease travel restrictions for vaccinated international travelers “boosting industry morale.”
“We know there is a huge and pent-up demand among business event professionals to reconnect face to face and use IMEX America as a platform to launch US and global business and plan ahead for 2022, “she said.