WASHINGTON: The US Travel Association has launched “US Travel's Campaign Trail Tips,” a daily tip sheet for the election press corps.
Inspired by Politico's “Playbook,” which chief political correspondent Mike Allen writes each morning, the initiative aims to keep travel issues top of mind for the reporters covering the election.
The alert is non-partisan. No other trade association is believed to be offering a similar product, according to Cathy Keefe, manager of media relations at US Travel.
It is also helping US Travel build relationships with political media, she added. It includes tips about the travel industry, the location of candidates' campaign stops, and population, weather, income, and median income data in those areas. It also suggests a local eatery if the reporters get downtime.
The group hopes it can take advantage of the news-generating power of the campaign trail to show that “travel is more than a vacation,” said Blain Rethmeier, SVP of public affairs and government relations at US Travel. “It's an industry that provides lots of jobs and money to the economy.”
The idea was co-developed with communications firm Hamilton Place Strategies. Agency partner Matt McDonald developed the emails based on his experiences working on Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign.
“There are a lot of moving pieces to the presidential campaign, and we're just trying to help them keep up,” McDonald said. The firm also helps to research the information in the briefings.
The US Travel Association launched its Vote Travel campaign in January to highlight the role the travel and tourism industry plays in the national economy.