May 12 - BTC Applauds U.S. Senators For Addressing "Tourism In Troubled Times"

Radnor, PA, May 12, 2009 - Business Travel Coalition (BTC) applauds Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Ranking Member Mel Martinez of Florida for convening a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion hearing titled, “Tourism in Troubled Times,” which is set for Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:00 am.

The travel and tourism industry is at a critical juncture, having been hit hard over the past year with a succession of violent storms including economic recession, skyrocketing and unstable fuel prices, public criticism of valid business travel practices, and most recently, a swine flu “infodemic” that has caused a panic rather than a rational response.It is encouraging that the Senate has recognized the importance of this large and resilient industry and is focusing attention on its challenges. BTC encourages the Committee to take swift and decisive action to help the industry regain its footing.

“Few other industries generate the amount of revenue, or employ as many people, as travel and tourism,” said BTC chairman Kevin Mitchell. “As such, our industry represents a vital stimulant to our nation’s economy.Equally, its impairment, as a result of many factors beyond the control of the industry, represents a devastating hit to our nation’s well being.”

BTC encourages the witnesses at tomorrow’s hearing to present the unvarnished, sobering picture of the current state of travel and tourism and offer their best ideas about how to increase the industry’s health and with it, the health of the nation’s economy. Among other things, BTC hopes policymakers will focus their attention on much needed policies to ensure travel sustainability.

“At a time when an industry as important to our nation as travel and tourism is in peril, I am hopeful that Congress will focus on coherent energy, infrastructure and environmental policy solutions, as well as travel promotion activities, that are necessary to help return travel and tourism to the vibrant industry that is so vital to our nation’s economy and American’s lives,” said Mitchell.

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