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by Lisa A. Grimaldi | February 01, 2012

 The U.S. Travel Association announced today the launch of a campaign to build awareness of the meetings, incentive travel and event industry with federal lawmakers. The goal for the campaign is to inform Congressional members and staff — particularly those from the top 12 states for meetings and events — of the importance of meetings and incentive travel in their states or districts, and to help prevent negative rhetoric on the value of large meetings and conventions. According to Eric Hanson, U.S. Travel's director of domestic policy, the program will reinforce the number of jobs and economic spend that meetings produce in states and Congressional districts, demonstrate the value of meetings to the broader economy, and connect lawmakers with meetings and conventions taking place in their own districts, including giving them "back of house" tours of these events. He added that lawmakers will be given a "dashboard" of economic indicators (based on research supplied by STR and U.S. Travel Association) each quarter, as well as yearly.