Ending the ”toxic” anti-business travel rhetoric in Washington, D.C. got a solid boost from and appearance by Bill Marriott Jr., chairman and CEO of Marriott International, on C-SPAN today. Marriott not only offered a strong defense of the economic importance of travel and tourism but the job-producing benefits of meetings and conventions to communities, such as Las Vegas and New York City. Marriott also said he is hopeful that Congress will act on the industry sponsored Travel Promotion Act. The Act is designed to encourage more international visitors to the U.S.
Marriott said that the “unintended consequences” of the “toxic rhetoric” was adversely impacting the industry and warned that the industry could lose as many as 350,000 jobs due to the decline in demand.
“Group business has been hammered” Marriott said, with 2009 promising to be a tough year. He forecast a rebound in 2010, however, and noted that leisure travel demand was good. He noted one unintended consequence of the rhetoric was the adverse impact on travel companies who were not part of the Federal Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) programs.
Marriott has taken a leadership role in advancing the travel and tourism industry’s interests including job creation and has worked closely with the U.S. Travel Association to build awareness of the industry’s contributions.
See Marriott's appearance here.