America’s global competitiveness and economic growth are all severely imperiled by America’s collapsing transportation infrastructure. Investing in modern infrastructure will enable increased domestic and inbound international travel in the United States, bolster the economy, create jobs and improve our balance of trade.

Quick Facts

U.S. transportation infrastructure is vital to the travel industry. More than 99 percent of all long-haul trips depend on our nation’s system of highways, airports and passenger rail. Unfortunately, the condition and performance of our nation’s transportation infrastructure threatens the long-term growth and competitiveness of the travel industry.

Congested highways discourage travel. Within 10 years, major interstate corridors will experience average daily congestion equal to Labor Day levels of traffic. According to a 2013 survey, 38 percent of travelers would avoid at least one-to-five trips per year if congestion grows at its current pace. If travelers avoided just one auto trip per year, the U.S. economy would lose $23 billion in spending that would directly support 208,000 American jobs.

Greater investment in highways, transit and passenger rail will support faster economic growth. Better highways, transit and passenger rail systems will improve efficient access to cities, hotels, attractions and other travel businesses. 

Recommendations

Ensure long-term, dedicated funding

Congress must develop a long-term, sustainable funding mechanism for the federal surface transportation program that provides increased, dedicated investments for all modes of transportation.

Create a strategy for national mobility

The U.S. Department of Transportation should create a National Travel Infrastructure Strategy that identifies and prioritizes federal investments in the most important transportation corridors for long-haul domestic and international travel.

Incorporate travel into transportation planning

Congress should improve the State and local transportation planning process to include input from State tourism offices, convention and visitors bureaus, and travel businesses.

Research, News and Commentary on Surface Transportation

U.S. Travel Research Round-Up: Thanksgiving Travel Forecasts, Plus Tapering International Interest Pre-Election

November 18, 2016

Here’s a sampling of November 2016’s most compelling findings from the U.S. Travel research team.

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U.S. Travel Research Round-Up: Interest in American Travel Up, As Is American Consumer Confidence (For Now)

September 29, 2016

Here’s a sampling of September 2016’s most compelling findings from the U.S. Travel research team.

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U.S. Travel Research Round-Up: Consumer Confidence, Hotel Earnings and Transportation Trends

May 13, 2016

Here’s a sampling of some of April 2016’s compelling findings from the U.S. Travel research team.

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Highway interchange

Politico Playbook: Fixing Infrastructure Is a Bipartisan Issue

April 25, 2016

Politico Playbook author Mike Allen predicts that in the next administration, there will be “a big push for infrastructure spending and it will succeed.” Even in the current political environment, improving America's infrastructure is one issue that can generate bipartisan progress.

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Introducing the U.S. Travel Research Round-Up

April 05, 2016

We’ve decided to regularly share interesting graphics, images and data from the U.S. Travel Outlook with a wider audience. Here’s a sampling of last month’s compelling findings from the U.S. Travel economic research team.

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Jonathan Grella Commentary

How Travel Is Staying Ahead of the Game This Election Season

March 15, 2016

In the midst of a remarkably volatile election cycle, on the heels of a volatile year for our industry, we're keeping travel a top priority for lawmakers through our election year publicity campaigns, our rapidly rising Travel PAC and our continuing advocacy efforts.

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