President Obama's unsuccessful trip to Copenhagen to back Chicago's bid for the 2016 Olympics may have ended in an apparent disaster, but it paid off in other ways.

If nothing else, it demonstrated what lobbyists for the business travel industry have been preaching for months about the value to face-to-face meetings. Sometimes, when the stakes are high, the CEO has to drop everything, get on an airplane and just go.

Thank you, President Obama.

More broadly, the trip proved once again that the U.S. has a lot of ground to make up in its effort to present itself to the world as a "welcoming destination" for travelers. Our top elected official had to hear it firsthand from Syed Shahid Ali, an International Olympic Committee delegate from Pakistan: Getting into the U.S. can be a "pretty harrowing experience."

Thank you, Syed Shahid Ali.

When the Travel Promotion Act finally becomes law, we will all owe a little something to Chicago.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI