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National Tour Association applauds air travel measures

Coming within a week of the canceled American Airline flights and the proposed Delta, Northwest merger, the National Tour Association applauded the recent actions taken by the U.S. Transportation Administration to improve the air travel experience.

Air traffic delays not only inconvenience passengers, they hinder tour and travel packagers’ ability to provide travel itineraries that allow for maximum customer satisfaction. Consumers prefer the ease and economy that packaged travel provides, but travel delays lead to itinerary disruptions and cancellations that hinder the travel experience.

"Secretary Peters’ actions are welcomed in the packaged travel industry," said NTA President Lisa Simon, CTP. "NTA’s call for the creation of an executive-level travel and tourism position will help the Transportation Administration create more traveler-friendly policies, which will benefit the entire travel and tourism economy."

Travelers need consistency and predictability when they fly. According to a survey of likely presidential primary voters in two key states , 85 percent of respondents said they believe it is important to develop and implement a newer air traffic control system. Some 70 percent of those surveyed think it is possible to reduce wait times and still maintain the same level of security at airports. Additionally, these respondents said they believe that "government could do far more" to improve the travel process.

"Americans are telling us that the government must do more to deliver a better travel experience. We applaud the action taken by the U.S. Transportation Administration this week and hope that the current and future administration will work with NTA and its partners to ensure a vibrant airline sector in the future," added Simon.

NTA believes that an investment in the travel experience would mean billions of dollars to this nation’s future economic growth. As a $740 billion contributor to the national economy, travel is one of the few sectors that generate a trade surplus for the United States. An Executive Office of Travel and Tourism is critical to aiding America’s air travel infrastructure and bringing the economic gains the nation needs.

* The survey was funded by the Travel Industry Association, National Tour Association and Travel Business Roundtable, and included Republican and Democratic primary voters in South Carolina and Florida.

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