Travel Industry to Engage Thousands of Employees during 2010 Congressional Elections

U.S. Travel Association Launches Online Town Hall for Employees to Query Federal Candidates
Seeking to provide an innovative way for the travel industry’s 10 million employees to engage in the 2010 Congressional elections, the U.S. Travel Association today launched a “Virtual Travel Town Hall” where candidates are asked to respond to the most significant travel-related questions facing the industry.

The cutting-edge effort comes on the heels of more than 400,000 lost travel industry jobs since 2008 and one of the most active periods for the travel industry in Washington, including public policies related to the BP oil spill, the discouragement of corporate meetings and events, the H1N1 outbreak and enactment of the Travel Promotion Act, America’s first-ever program to market the United States abroad.

“As Washington plays an increasingly active role in our business, it’s critical that our employees play a more active role in Washington,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “Our industry must become a force in all elements of the political process, not just when times are tough or when we need something from policymakers. Our 10 million employees can be tremendous allies to those who recognize the power of travel to create jobs, fund essential services and stimulate local economies.”

Under the brand of its newly formed “Power of Travel Coalition,” U.S. Travel has extended invitations to more than 150 Congressional candidates to submit a video or written answers to three questions chosen by travel industry employees during the month of August. The questions will be submitted to participating candidates by September 13 and candidate videos or written responses will be posted on the Coalition’s Virtual Travel Town Hall webpage (travelcoalition.org/townhall) on October 4, one month prior to the elections.

“This initiative provides Congressional candidates with the opportunity to support one in nine American workers in an industry that is 2.5 times the auto industry and a top ten employer in nearly every U.S. state,” added Dow.

U.S. Travel is partnering with major hotel chains, attractions, convention and visitor bureaus, travel-related associations and others to ensure the most significant electoral participation in the travel industry’s history.

Contact:
Kristy Chandler 202-408-2172
Cathy Keefe 202-408-2183

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $704 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. For more information, visit http://www.ustravel.org/.