Language in the Obama administration's new surface transportation proposal directs the Department of Transportation (DOT) to consider the "the potential effects on travel and tourism" when allocating federal grants—an acknowledgement that travel is a critical economic driver for every state and region.
The administration sent its DOT reauthorization package to Congress on Tuesday.
"This new language reflects an understanding by the president that every dollar invested in travel and tourism generates economic returns that are compounded many times over," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "Travel was the second-fastest-growing industry last year, its job creation has dramatically outpaced the rest of the economy during the recovery, and it is one of the strongest positive contributors to our trade balance.
"What the administration has done is to insist that transportation dollars create maximum economic value by supporting the best-performing sectors, and travel and tourism easily meets that standard. It's just good business sense.
"We still must invest more to modernize America's travel infrastructure and ensure it remains competitive with other countries, but there is much to be encouraged about in this latest package."
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.