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MAYOR HANNEMANN ADDRESSES TRAVEL INDUSTRY NEEDS AT NATIONAL FORUM
“The nation’s arts and tourism activities are an important component of our national economy,” Mayor Hannemann said at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ National Action Forum on Air Travel, Tourism and the Arts. “Protecting our nation must remain paramount, but a better balance is needed between homeland security and economic vitality. Cities are undoubtedly affected by the challenges facing our airline industry. Therefore, it is essential that mayors are at the table offering their ideas and recommendations.”
Mayor Hannemann is Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports, and led the effort to include tourism and the arts in the mayors’ 10 Point Action Plan outlining priorities for the next presidential administration.
More than 40 mayors from key cities around the country gathered at the Breakers Hotel in
The ATA also predicts that by the end of 2008, dozens of
According to the U.S. Travel Industry Association, 28 percent of travelers avoided at least one trip over the past year due to the problems inherent in today’s commercial aviation process. The same survey found that 78 percent of respondents believe the air travel system is either “broken” or in need of a “moderate correction.”
In response, mayors are urging that existing levels of service be preserved to support economic growth in metropolitan areas. Mayors are also calling for reforms to the Transportation Security Administration to ensure that TSA uses the most up-to-date technology to provide security for air-travelers, as well as encouraging the airline industry and the federal government to accelerate research and development for alternative fuels.
As a long-term solution to air congestion, mayors are proposing the use of inter-city high speed commuter rail as an alternative to air flights of 500 miles or less. To accomplish this goal, mayors want to integrate air-rail regional planning in the federal transportation bills pending before Congress.
Today’s forum also featured a discussion on the nonprofit arts and culture industry, which generates $166.2 billion in economic activity every year. Mayors believe the national impact of this industry is significant because it supports 5.7 million jobs and generates $29.6 billion in government revenue. As a result, the nation’s mayors are calling for a cabinet-level position on culture and tourism.
Travel and tourism contributes $740 billion in direct expenditures to the national economy each year, and the nation’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $166 million in additional economic activity, according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
But two million fewer overseas travelers visited the
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is urging Congress to approve the Travel Promotion Act, which they have long supported, a bipartisan measure designed to create jobs and help boost the
The version of the Act approved by the House specifies that travel promotion would be financed through private sector contributions and a modest fee on foreign travelers, with no cost to
U.S. Conference of Mayors President Manny Diaz, mayor of
“Mayors recognize that arts, culture, travel and tourism are driving forces for
Key recommendations from today’s forum:
· Create a cabinet level Secretary of Culture and Tourism.
· Call for a White House Conference on the Arts to expand the dialogue of the importance of the arts.
· Fully fund National Endowments of Arts and Humanities at $500 million annual appropriations.
· Expand the Local Arts Agency Program to directly fund local arts agencies.
· Ensure arts education as central to a balanced education in our schools.
· Encourage arts a component of federal economic development and community development programs.
· Include in federal budget funding for local parks programs.
· Pass and implement the Travel Promotion Act.
· Encourage Congress to expand the Travel VISA Waiver Program to qualified countries and especially in Latin and South America and
· Encourage Congress to increase staffing and implement customer training programs for customs and border service and TSA personnel.
· Expand TSA’s Black Diamond and model airports program to allow foreign visitors to more easily enter the country.
· Recognizing the No Fly List issue, urge TSA to implement Secure Flight by 2009.
· Ensure TSA is using the most up-to-date passenger friendly technology.
· Urge airlines to maintain existing flight levels to cities.
· With the pending air and surface transportation laws, increase flexibility within current federal transportation programs (air, surface, rail) to encourage a more multimodal/intermodal approach.
· Require the U.S. Department of Transportation to propose a comprehensive transportation policy that considers increased interconnectivity among transportation modes.
· As a solution to the increasing aviation congestion, many short-range flights could be replaced by intercity rail and in some cases commuter rail.
· Substantially increase funding for research and development of alternative fuels to reduce dependence on petroleum-based jet fuel.
· Urgently modernize the nation’s aviation system by implementing satellite based technology.
· Urge the airline’s to improve customer service.
· Increase the Airport Improvement Program and Passenger Facilities Charges in the reauthorization of the FAA.
· Include the Universal Service in the reauthorization of the FAA.
The recommendations from today’s meeting will be submitted by Mayor Hannemann and his mayoral colleagues as a national action agenda for tourism and the arts to the next president of the
At yesterday’s USCM meeting, Mayor Hannemann participated in the Environment and Energy session. He shared with his colleagues the City's 21st Century Ahupua'a Plan, especially in the areas of alternative energy and the need to build environmentally friendly transportation systems. He also expressed to former President Bill Clinton, who was one of the resource speakers, the environmental challenges facing
Mayor Hannemann returns to
Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928
|Friday, October 03, 2008|