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AIMC’s Jack Sammis Supports Recent Call to Fix Travel and Meeting Industry Problems
Tuesday, December 20 2011Jack Sammis, President of the Alliance for International Meetings & Commerce (AIMC), is speaking out in support of recent calls by the U.S. travel industry to solve the systemic problems that are holding back industry growth and degrading the travel experience.
"Until we fix the 'hassle factor' in travel and get the airline industry off the 'most disliked industry' list, potential meeting attendees are going to look to other means of communications to avoid travel nightmares," he declared. "Even in a strong economy this travel problem will affect meeting attendance."
He cited a recent speech given by Geoff Freeman, Senior Vice President for the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), which called for the industry to take a big-picture, integrated look at the entire travel experience and find ways to make it better.
In his talk, Freeman noted that "airlines have done the impossible. They have beat out other industries and the government as the most disliked industry in the country. In the past we might have said this is an airline problem. But now we need to recognize that this is a travel industry problem. We need to deal with these big problems that consumers are screaming out for us to address.
"Steve Jobs [of Apple] was an inspiration to what we need to do in the travel industry. He came back when Apple was on a downward spiral. Jobs said, 'We need to fundamentally think differently.' See how that paid off for Apple."
This issue was highlighted again just two weeks ago when USTA released results of a survey showing that four of the top five air traveler frustrations relate to the security checkpoint process.
Sammis understands how travel issues can affect meetings because his meetings management company, IMN Solutions (which founded and manages AIMC), works with nearly 100 association and corporate clients to book hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms each year representing more than $100 million in revenue.
"These meetings are the lifeblood of associations and corporations, providing education and networking for members and non-dues revenue they depend on to run their programs," Sammis says. "Through AIMC, we plan to support the meetings and travel industry by working with USTA, ASAE, and other organizations to effect change where it is needed.
"AIMC members hold meetings across the United States, and are also active in international meetings, where the travel experience is also less than ideal. We feel that their influence can also advance change on a global level.
"The U.S. travel industry is exactly right to focus on the big picture when it comes to fixing the industry, because we all have to work together to get this done. The future of the industry depends on it."