Travel is beneficial. It creates opportunities for people to see other cultures, experience history, learn, strengthen bonds with loved ones and might even be beneficial to ones health. Yet research that empirically shows benefits beyond assisting communities with their economy is lacking. This article articulates the need for further benefits research and, we hope, will serve as an impetus for extensive academic and practical work in this area. It also unveils the overriding methodology used in the subsequent articles in the current special series and attempts to reveal the role the U.S. Travel Association has played in creating inertia in this topic of study.