Arnie Weissmann: You may be growing, but if the channel isn’t, you’re going to be in trouble. 12
IN OTHER NEWS:
Hawaii Roundtable: Positive signs inspire a sunnier outlook in the Aloha State. 18
Section 1 of 2
THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
JULY 26, 2010
U.S. Travel seeks
to offset oil spill
Industry group says
losses could reach
$22.7 billion in 3 years
By Bill Poling
See GULF on Page 8
The oil has stopped for now, and so the
The U.S. Travel Association estimates that
the tourism economies of the Gulf Coast
region could lose between $7.6 billion and
$22.7 billion in visitor spending over the
next three years, and it is calling on BP and
the federal government to soften the blow.
Aggressive marketing campaigns, according to U.S. Travel, could pump $7.5 billion
or more in visitor spending into the region
and hasten the recovery. To that end, U.S.
Travel recommended that BP set aside $500
million over the next three years to fund
“information-based marketing campaigns”
to promote travel to the region.
U.S. Travel defines the region as the 18
coastal congressional districts from Texas to
Florida, where visitor spending totals $34 billion a year and supports 400,000 jobs.
To hasten the recovery, U.S. Travel is recommending that the government set up new
programs to assist current and future disaster
sites, including a “White List” for meetings
and conventions that would encourage federal and local governments to hold meetings
and conferences in recovering destinations.
During a conference call with the media
last week, U.S. Travel CEO Roger Dow said
the impact of disasters on travel is usually
“significant and immediate,” but he said that
it is easily forgotten that the economic im-
pact can be “long-lasting and far-reaching.”
To assess that impact, U.S. Travel com-
missioned what Dow called “ground-
breaking research” from Oxford Eco-
nomics, which studied the rate at which
travel and tourism recovered following
some two dozen man-made and natu-
ral disasters in recent decades. The model
2010 Consumer Trends
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[ SOME SEE FLYERSRIGHTS.ORG FOUNDER AS A HERO, OTHERS AS AN OPPORTUNIST ]
Advocate Hanni’s credibility under fire
By Michael Fabey
When American Airlines strand-
ed 121 Dallas-bound flights and
thousands of passengers on Dec.
29, 2006 — some for more than
nine hours with fouled toilets,
little food or water and no way to
deplane — it triggered a national
outcry in the news media, on blogs
and on Capitol Hill.
It also motivated one angry passenger,
Napa, Calif., real estate agent Kate Hanni,
to act. Within weeks, Hanni had donned the
mantle of passenger-rights advocate and was
calling for an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights
to limit the amount of time airlines could
hold passengers on a tarmac.
For three years, Hanni and the group she
founded, known today as FlyersRights.org,
have lobbied for passenger rights legislation
and demanded transparency in the federal
government’s reporting of tarmac delays,
pointing to inaccuracies in — and question-
ing the integrity of — government and in-
dustry reporting such delays.