TIA initiates debate on travel

WASHINGTON: The Travel Industry Association (TIA) has launched a campaign encouraging presidential candidates to talk more about solutions to US travel problems, such as long security lines.

WASHINGTON: The Travel Industry Association (TIA) has launched a campaign encouraging presidential candidates to talk more about solutions to US travel problems, such as long security lines.

Called "Change the Debate," the effort has so far included outreach by travel industry execs to media members and political campaign consultants in South Carolina for the recent Democratic and Republican primaries, as well as billboards in the state promoting the issue.

Similar outreach is now planned in Florida prior to the primaries in that state on February 5.

"These may not be issues like Iraq or healthcare, but they affect voters every day," said TIA executive director Geoff Freeman. "Yet voters are not hearing candidates give them any time."

TIA's 1,700 members, including 500 convention and visitor bureaus, will reach out to presidential campaign teams throughout the US using "action kits" distributed by TIA that provide instructions on how to communicate with campaign staffers.

"Our members will be hosting candidates as they come through during the campaign," Freeman said. "That gives them a special sort of access that other people wouldn't have."

In addition, the group will also work with the US Conference of Mayors to spur attention to the issue by the eventual Republican and Democratic nominees.

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