Let's celebrate our economic impact--and our partners'

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By now I'm sure you've heard about the new Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy study, which "estimates that 205 million people attended nearly 1.8 million meetings in the U.S. in 2009. Those meetings generated $263 billion in direct spending, supported 1.7 million jobs, and contributed $106 billion to the gross domestic product." While it took two years to complete, the study, which was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the CIC and funded by 14 of its constituent associations, gives us some much-needed fuel to fight the "AIG syndrome" and other perceptual woes.

But let's not forget our hotel partners in all this. As Ed Watkins so rightly points out in this post, we should be lauding the effect every new hotel opening has on the local economy as well. As he says, after attending the grand opening of the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, "In an era when job creation is at a premium, the JW Marriott and its four sisters is a jobs machine. The JW used 2,000 construction workers in total, with 150 onsite daily throughout the project. And, perhaps more importantly, the property generated 700 full-time jobs for the city." That's something to celebrate.

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