Tuesday, December 16, 2008


While we’re obsessing about economic stimulus, some businesses and governments are arbitrarily cutting travel at a time when we're also pumping billions into stimulus. Doesn't make sense.

Travel fuels 7.7 million jobs nationwide and many more millions of small businesses. That's more than double the number of auto jobs in the U.S. inlcuding supplier and spin off. Are we certain, eliminating many of these jobs by cutting travel is such a smart idea?

As Congress and President-elect Obama consider emergency measures to stimulate jobs and the flow of commerce, shouldn’t encouraging travel be obvious?

Travel isn’t a luxury as Adobe self-servingly trumpeted in a full page ad in the New York Times Thursday while hawking an alternative to face-to-face meetings. I love adobe products and I’m sure their marketing people didn’t mean to insinuate the loss of millions of travel related jobs just to make a buck on software.

Obviously, business travel, conventions and meetings are being revolutionized by technological alternatives to travel. As a proportion of overall travel, business travel is in long-term decline and destination marketers are in a mad dash to replace them with leisure travelers just to hold even. But there will always be a need for travel and face-to-face communication. Even holograms will only go so far.

These are difficult times but let’s not be so quick to shoot ourselves in the foot.

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