According to Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, the looming sequester could have a negative impact on the travel industry.
He also stated ensuing economic losses when business and leisure travelers choose to avoid flights due to delays and extremely long security lines would be significant. Dow's comments follow dire travel predictions by President Obama and a report from Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee.
"Travel has the very real potential of becoming the face of the March 1 sequester cuts. These across-the-board cuts may punish travelers with flight delays, long security lines at Transportation Security Agency checkpoints and multi-hour waits to clear Customs and Border Protection. Travel has led the nation's economic recovery - generating more than 50 percent of all jobs created since the beginning of the recession. The indiscriminate sequester cuts threaten to derail the travel-led recovery.
"There is absolutely no excuse for travelers in one of the world's most advanced nations to suffer through a travel process that wastes their precious time and resources. With the launch of the sequester cuts, we will call on travelers to rise up and make their voices heard. U.S. Travel will assist travelers in their efforts to send a strong message to Congress with a new mobile messaging campaign. When travelers text the word "DELAYED" to 877-877, they will receive easy instructions on how to share their opinions with Washington legislators.
"It is time for Washington to solve problems rather than create potentially devastating new crises. The 14.4 million Americans whose jobs depend on travel, the two million Americans who fly each day and the millions more who take to the roads and rails to drive the American economy are counting on our elected officials to deliver results that keep our nation competitive and attractive to travelers around the globe. We strongly urge Congress to take immediate action on the impending federal budget cuts."