Until recently, there hadn't been much of substance from either presidential candidate that made me feel as though either of them give a hoot about the tourism business. But then last week, Sen. Barack Obama was quoted in the Orlando Sentinel that he's "willing to consider a publicly subsidized national advertising campaign" aimed at luring more overseas tourists to the U.S. The caveat—and it's a reasonable one—is that the campaign must be able to demonstrate results.
Of course, presidential candidates will say just about anything to anyone to secure a vote, but with Obama on the record on this topic, it's important that anybody and everybody in the broad hospitality industry challenge him and his campaign—as well as John McCain's campaign—on this topic at every possible opportunity. If you're an entrepreneur or a hotel GM, both parties have probably been knocking at your door looking for support for their candidate. The next time you're contacted by either the Obama or McCain campaign, be sure to bring up this topic, as well as other hot-button issues facing our industry, e.g., immigration reform, card check legislation and more.
We only get a chance to influence the direction of the country once every four years, so it's important that we do what we can to steer candidates in our direction.