U.S. Dept. of Commerce: U.S. Travel Association to host roundtable on promoting safe business travel and igniting post-pandemic recovery in the travel and tourism sector

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, March 8, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves will host a roundtable with the U.S. Travel Association on promoting safe business travel in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and how to best help the travel and tourism sector recover. The roundtable will also feature industry and labor leaders from Carnival Cruise Line, Caesars Entertainment, the San Diego Tourism Authority, Destination DC, the Association of Flight Attendants, and more.

“The travel and tourism sector has suffered profoundly from the pandemic. Total output plummeted by nearly half in 2020. Total employment dropped by one-third as 3.2 million direct and indirect travel and tourism jobs were lost,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “Today our economy is recovering strongly thanks to the leadership of President Biden and the resilience of American businesses. The travel and tourism sector—and related industries—are on their way back but lagging.”

Graves added: “The leisure and hospitality industry gained back 179,000 jobs in February but remains 1.5 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels. With this roundtable discussion, the Commerce Department recommits itself to ensuring that our entire travel and tourism sector fully recovers.”

“A complete recovery of the U.S. economy corresponds to the full and even recovery of America’s travel industry,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Working closely with our partners in the federal government will help accelerate this rebound, particularly as businesses in the public and private sector increasingly return to professional travel.”

Travel and Tourism Roundtable with Industry Leaders


  • Don Graves, Deputy Secretary of Commerce
  • Roger Dow, President & CEO, U.S. Travel Association
  • Julie Coker, President & CEO, San Diego Tourism Authority
  • Christine Duffy, President, Carnival Cruise Line; National Chair, U.S. Travel Association
  • Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants
  • Elliott Ferguson, President & CEO, Destination DC
  • Susan Fox, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, The Walt Disney Company
  • Walt Leger, General Counsel and Incoming President and CEO, New Orleans & Company
  • Michael Massari, Chief Sales Officer, Caesars Entertainment; Co-Chair, Meetings Mean Business Coalition
  • Martha Sheridan, President & CEO, Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau; Co-Chair, Meetings Mean Business Coalition

WHEN: Tuesday, March 8, 2022, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Credentialed press should arrive no later than 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20230

RSVP: All credentialed members of the press are required to RSVP to [email protected].

Both events are indoors. Masks are optional.