Ten Hotel Companies Defend Travel Industry

A robust travel industry creates jobs and powers communities, the U.S. Travel Association said as 10 of the nation's largest hotel companies urged members of Congress to consider the value of business travel before enacting legislation. U.S. Travel said Congress should study the economic value of meetings, events and performance incentive programs before enacting legislation and regulations that may unintentionally hinder economic recovery and cost American jobs.

"Members of Congress and all Americans should demand accountability from companies receiving taxpayer dollars— what we need are rules, not rhetoric," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "That's why U.S. Travel Association and our partners have created model guidelines for corporate boards to adopt when determining if a meeting or event has legitimate business return on investment."

According to new ads, which are running beginning today on Politico.com and RollCall.com, "The Department of Labor is reporting a loss of nearly 200,000 travel-related jobs in 2008 and Commerce Department data predicts a lost of an additional 247,000 travel-related jobs in 2009.  That number may grow if the rhetoric is not toned down."

To ensure that federal taxpayer dollars are being used responsibly, the travel community earlier this month released model travel guidelines for boards of directors of companies receiving emergency government funds. These are available at www.ustravel.org.

The companies sponsoring the ad are: Carlson, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels Group, Loews, Marriott, Starwood and Wyndham Worldwide.

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