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by Loren G. Edelstein | December 08, 2010

According to a study released yesterday by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, visa barriers preclude 2.5 percent of potential international attendees from participating in trade shows and exhibitions, representing a loss of some 116,000 participants. To quantify this loss, CEIR commissioned Oxford Economics to conduct the study, “The Economic Impact of International Non-Participation in the Exhibition Industry Due to U.S. Visa Issues,” based on a nationwide survey conducted this past summer and the CEIR Exhibition Industry Census. With no visa barriers in place, the U.S. economy would realize increases in business sales of $2.4 billion, including $1.5 billion in business-to-business trade, $540 million in registration fees and exhibition space spending, and a $295 million boost to visitor spending. That incremental revenue would be able to sustain more than 17,500 jobs directly, contribute to 43,000 jobs overall, and generate $750 million in state and federal taxes. Hotels would experience additional business of nearly half of the $295 million increase in visitor spending. Spending at restaurants from the additional 116,000 attendees would increase by $60 million, analysts projected. The full report is available here.