Air-traffic decay, airport chaos: attention must be paid

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The dinosaurs are watching. Or at least their keeper is. And so is Elvis. They’ll be watching the Democrats in Denver this week as the party debates its national platform and nominates Senator Barack Obama as its presidential candidate. They’re watching on behalf of a trade group for the tourism industry, from motels and hotels to gas stops to amusement parks like the dinosaurs’ home, Gatorland, near Orlando, Fla., or entire cities where tourism in the mainstay, cities like Las Vegas. The ads will run in Denver and then in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where the Republicans are having their convention later in August, urging the parties and their nominees to do something about everything from “unnecessary waiting lines at airports” to “marketing the US as a premier destination,” Travel Industry Association President Roger Dow said. “Today’s deteriorating air-travel system, skyrocketing fuel prices and poorly communicated security policies are deterring domestic and international inbound travel and costing the US billions of dollars,” he says. “These issues have never before risen to the attention of presidential candidates. And that needs to change.”

Both cities are also feeling the strain of the gas-price crisis, the falling economy, and the so-called ‘staycation’ trend, where people just at stay at home for their vacations. In Las Vegas, the casino industry is showing signs of trouble from the credit crunch, while in Orlando, where the airport has seen major cutbacks, they’re already planning for the downturn.

 

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