The travel industry, hit hard by the public uproar over lavish company getaways, has been pushing back, and its message is essentially this: You say junket, we say jobs.

In a lobbying effort spearheaded by the U.S. Travel Association, industry representatives have met with President Obama, released a flurry of statistics about the economic contribution of meetings and events ($101 billion in spending, one million jobs) and have even established a