President-elect Donald Trump promises to bring sweeping changes to everything from the economy to the tax structure and healthcare to infrastructure and immigration. While we wait to see how his policies play out, industry experts weigh in on what the Trump Administration could mean for the meetings business.
Reasons for Optimism
“The U.S. Travel Association is highly optimistic for the industry. [Trump] is determined to spend on infrastructure, including airport modernization, which has been a key priority of the travel industry. With international visitation to the U.S. the number-two export for the U.S.—representing 10 percent of all exports—we’re well positioned to benefit from his platform on trade. Also, as a hotel owner, President-elect Trump has a solid understanding of what we mean to the economy, what we mean for jobs, and what we mean to his overall platform, so we’re starting at an advantage.”—Michael Dominguez, Chief Sales Officer, MGM Resorts International
Negatives as Opportunities
“Sadly, [we could see] more visa restrictions, more difficulty for bona-fide delegates from some countries to get into other countries to attend meetings, more negative political rhetorical, and narrow-minded nationalism. However, this will create plenty of opportunities for those of us who believe international meetings are a force for societal progress to argue against such trends!”—Martin Sirk, CEO, International Congress and Convention Association
Benefits for Exhibitions
“With Mr. Trump being positioned as a growth-oriented president, it could be argued that the U.S. exhibition industry will benefit both directly and indirectly. Directly, new policy changes lead to new content that can be presented/demonstrated at exhibitions and events. Indirectly, changes in policy and refocusing the economy may encourage new product development, new resource partners, and new ways of thinking that can be presented at exhibitions, conferences, and events.”—International Association of Exhibitions and Events’ “Future Trends Impacting the Exhibitions and Events Industry” white paper