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It won’t be shocking to anyone when I say that, no matter your point of view, we’re not seeing a lot of great leadership from either political party these days. I try to be optimistic, but even when both sides fundamentally agree, they can’t seem to get anything accomplished. And that’s very disheartening.
A great example of this is transportation infrastructure. Most agree that we need a major overhaul of our roads, bridges, railways, seaways and airports, but on Capitol Hill, there doesn’t seem to be a plan for addressing this issue.
Earlier this month, private investment firm HNTB Corporation released findings from The Imperative for a National Transportation Policy study, in which it found that 73% of respondents believe “a robust, high-quality transportation system is vital to America’s continued economic prosperity and quality of life.” When asked to rank transportation investment priorities, 84% of those surveyed cited the need to establish efficient connectivity between subway/transit systems and airports as a top priority.
By today’s standards, that level of consensus should be considered a unanimous opinion.
In this issue’s cover story, “Pulling Back the Curtain” (page 14), you can find out what goes on behind the scenes at one tour operator that is creating off-the-beaten-path itineraries for your clients. There are a lot of creative, smart people working tirelessly to come up with something new for you to sell. However, all that hard work is reliant on an overburdened, aging infrastructure that affects the basic element of travel: getting from point A to point B. For this reason, travel organizations need to take up the fight to make sure our elected officials get an infrastructure bill passed as soon as possible.
As we embark on the circus we call “election season,” let’s keep this in mind and look for candidates who can get something done. That’s a pretty low bar to set, but I bet that even a minimum level of effectiveness rules out a lot of wannabes.