By James Wilkinson at IPW in Las Vegas

Companies that invested in business travel during the last recession are now positing higher revenues and profits than those that didn’t, according to an Oxford Economics report released at International Pow Wow (IPW) in Las Vegas today (June 11).

In a stark contrast, companies and businesses that reduced their business travel spend were “more likely to see a decline in profits”, according to Oxford Economics’ Managing Director, Adam Sacks.

“When we analysed data from the Great Recession and recovery, we learned that companies that invested the most in business travel tended to grow the fastest,” he said.

The Oxford Economics report, titled ‘The Role of Business Travel in the U.S. Economic Recovery’, looked at business travel and performance across 14 business sectors over 18 years.

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, Roger Dow, welcomed the release of the report at IPW, an event that has attracted a record 6400 delegates from 74 countries, including 50 from Australia and New Zealand.

“The findings from this follow-up report reinforce the good business sense that face-to-face meetings matter,” he said.

“Business travel is essential for keeping customers and winning new business – IPW is a clear example of productive and positive business benefits.”

Key findings of the report include:

Business travel delivers a measurable return on investment: For every dollar invested in business travel, companies have experienced a USD$9.50 return in terms of revenue and USD$2.90 in profits.

Business travel helps companies obtain new customers and retain existing ones: In-person meetings double the likelihood of “prospect conversion.” Business travellers believe that 42% of customers would eventually be lost without in-person meetings.

Business travel boosts corporate performance: Nearly three-in-five frequent travellers say that higher spending on business travel would have a positive impact on their company’s revenue and profitability.

Conferences and conventions are vital for gaining new insights and for improving sales: More than three-quarters of survey respondents believe conferences and conventions provide a high-impact on gaining industry insights and developing industry partnerships.

IPW is being held in Las Vegas until Thursday local time (June 13) and next year Chicago will play host to the largest travel and tourism event in America from April 5-9, 2014.


HM travelled to Las Vegas on Qantas, which offers daily flights to the city from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney via Los Angeles in partnership with American Airlines. Qantas has recently upgraded the Boeing 747s that fly on the Australia-Los Angeles route, which feature the new A380-inspired interiors including new, larger economy class seats in a cabin that’s highlighted by an extensive range of entertainment on demand alongside a great selection of Australian wine and meals designed by star chef Neil Perry. For bookings, visit www.qantas.com

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management