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Chris Nassetta Elected Chair of U.S. Travel Association

Leadership change and new quarterly Travel Outlook press conferences announced.

By Beth Buehler

Hilton’s president and CEO, Chris Nassetta, was recently announced as the newly elected chair of the U.S. Travel Association. In this role, Nassetta will lead the association’s executive board and board of delegates and work closely with U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Geoff Freeman and the executive leadership team. The organization strives to increase travel to and within the United States and to establish travel as an essential contributor to the nation’s economy.

As the newly elected chair of the U.S. Travel Association, Nassetta succeeds Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, whose term has concluded. Based in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Travel Association represents the collective interests of over 1,000 industry organizations, including a diverse range of travel businesses and destinations across the United States.

The organization also launched a new quarterly Travel Outlook press conference on Feb. 1, led by the Freeman and Nassetta. Together, they offered industry perspective and recommendations about several issues important to America’s travel economy, including U.S. visa processing, the domestic aviation system, and insights and projections for business and leisure travel.

U.S. Travel Association quarterly press conference, Feb. 1, 2023.
From left: Geoff Freeman and Chris Nassetta at the quarterly press conference on Feb. 1, 2023. CREDIT U.S. Travel Association

Among the discussion points were findings from a new Ipsos Poll field survey, that was conducted between Jan. 13-22. The results highlighted pain points in the travel experience, which will help inform the association’s work to modernize the country’s travel system. The air travel experience is subpar for nearly half of Americans. Only one in 10 Americans who have flown by air (13%) rate their overall travel experience as excellent, while nearly half (45%) rate it as average or below average. Airport congestion, flight delays or cancellations, airport security process, and cumbersome travel logistics were the main contributors to a less-than-excellent travel experience

“Travel plays a critical role in America’s economic success, but it’s much more than that—our industry positively impacts people’s lives,” Nassetta says.  I look forward to working even more closely with U.S. Travel, along with our partners across government and industry, to increase travel to and within the United States.”