Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, became the first candidate to meet with travel industry leaders to discuss deteriorating airline services and other critical travel issues.
The meeting, convened by the Travel Business Roundtable, a strategic partner to the Travel Industry Association (TIA) was held in Chicago. Industry participants included Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels, and chairman of Travel Business Roundtable; Steven Rudnitsky, president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group, and Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman of Carlson.
Issues covered included the domestic and international inbound travel process, the value of travel promotion to attract international visitors, inefficiencies in the entry process for international travelers and growing concern over the deteriorating domestic air travel process. Mayors of many major cities were also represented.
"Public dissatisfaction with America's air travel system is growing," said Tisch. "In addition, overseas visitors, who are frustrated with cumbersome visa and entry procedures, are choosing to go elsewhere. The decline in overseas travel comes at a great cost to the United States, totaling nearly $140 billion in lost spending and 230,000 lost American jobs. Travel is critically important to the American economy and must be a top priority for whoever may be the next president of the United States."
"As the travel process becomes more difficult, America's economy and image suffers," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the Travel Industry Association. "We need presidential leadership to address the most critical issues in the deteriorating travel process." The TIA and the National Tour Association (NTA) are among industry groups who have urged major presidential candidates to issue detailed plans to improve the air travel process during their first term in office. For information: www.tia.org