By all accounts, this year’s presidential election is a defining moment in US history. A sagging economy, the ongoing war in Iraq, newfound energy concerns and a host of other issues has reshaped the political landscape for the 44th president of the United States. In the face of mounting evidence that our nation is facing some of its toughest times in recent history, the Travel Industry Association (TIA) is working to ensure that critical travel issues make their way on to the president’s agenda. Having executed an innovative, campaign-style operation during the 2008 election cycle, we are confident that either Senator McCain or Senator Obama is now prepared to make important travel reforms during their time in office.
TIA’s “Change the Debate” campaign has succeeded in placing travel issues on the radar screens of the presidential candidates. Don’t get me wrong – we’re not being Pollyannaish. We know that there are serious issues in our country that take precedence over travel promotion or air travel delays. But we also know that if Senator McCain or Senator Obama is serious about improving the American economy and winning hearts and minds around the world, then lowering barriers to travel to and within the United States must be a central priority of the next administration.
We have already seen Senators McCain and Obama take important steps over the past year to demonstrate their support for travel. Whether it’s cosponsoring the Travel Promotion Act (Obama), meeting with industry leaders to discuss travel issues (McCain) or speaking out on our nation’s deteriorating air travel system (McCain and Obama), both leaders have publicly engaged in travel issues in ways that presidential candidates never have before.
As November 4th approaches, we stand ready to work with the next president of the United States to ensure that meaningful travel reforms are a top priority. We are confident that both candidates share this commitment. In addition to the summary of TIA’s “Change the Debate” campaign provided below, click here: http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001PsLxz6dFbyuCglWsNzNyRNGmDSuHtngUuXcc7TePr1pqVFl1XPqt-dcs3ShUWgoI6JVOiP7FYV3BF6jkG2Ca8-lTNDLYl23hnHaTWGDuZA5KDGIIW9JZLIYzsGlDPeeuER_GTmcHhKeVSqNTYi5TgwxWhSDqC0IzVLW_5mmVD_6KZhZ2onkeOJ80p_jFuhxv for a chart that compares Senators McCain and Obama on a variety of important issues to the travel community. We hope that you find this information helpful as you head to the polls on Tuesday, November 4th and share our excitement that travel issues have turned the political corner.
Roger J. Dow is the president and chief executive officer of the Travel Industry Association (TIA), the national umbrella organization representing all segments of the $740 billion US travel and tourism industry.