U.S. Travel Association Calls Obama Administration Effort to Curb Government Employee Travel ‘Short-Sighted and Counterproductive’
Decreasing Government Employee Travel to Cost Taxpayers More than it Saves
July 20, 2010
Washington, DC - The U.S. Travel Association today called “short-sighted and counterproductive” Obama Administration efforts to arbitrarily curb business travel by government employees in an effort to protect the environment. The effort is likely to prove costly to taxpayers, as a 2009 study by Oxford Economics demonstrated that government business travel has a more than 5:1 return on investment. Less government participation in necessary meetings, trade shows and other types of business travel will lead to a decline in federal employee productivity and to job losses for American workers employed in the travel industry.
“Discouraging business travel is short-sighted and counterproductive,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “This type of arbitrary and across-the-board approach will further economic decline at precisely the wrong time for the more than two million Americans whose jobs depend on business travel. We call on the Obama Administration to work with the travel community to promote sustainable business travel initiatives through incentives rather than promote a policy that undoubtedly will lead to job losses for Americans already struggling in this economic climate.”
Oxford Economics found that for every dollar invested in business travel, businesses benefit an average of $12.50 in incremental revenue and $3.80 in new profits. Government travel alone yields a return on investment of 5.4 to 1. Viewed from a macroeconomic perspective, a 10 percent increase in government travel would increase public sector productivity and GDP by 1 percent to 1.4 percent. The travel industry lost more than 400,000 over the last two years and is now facing thousands of unexpected job losses due to the BP oil spill.
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $770 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. U.S. Travel is proud to be a partner in travel with American Express. For more information, visit www.ustravel.org.