Travel News Report
Mar. 20, 2013

Lawmakers back new mechanism to fund port of entry improvements
The Texas Tribune
A bipartisan coalition of congressional lawmakers has filed legislation that would allow private and local money to be used for port infrastructure and to hire additional officers at the nation's international bridges. U.S. Reps. Michael McCaul, R-Austin; Pete Gallego, D-Alpine; Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo; Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso; Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville; and Blake Farenthold, R-Corpus Christi, announced that they filed House Resolution 1108, the Cross-Border Enhancement Act, which would allow U.S. Customs and Border Protection to enter into public-private partnerships to raise funds for projects that would facilitate trade.More

Survey should be protected from sequester
Travel Weekly
The latest potential victim of the Washington budget squeeze is a seemingly small line item that has an outsize impact on hundreds of billions of dollars in travel exports: the Survey of International Air Travelers. If the Department of Commerce fails to preserve it, marketing programs that generate hundreds of millions of dollars in exports will be undermined.More

Ray Perryman, Board of Contributors: Later school start is better for Texas economy
Waco Tribune
The issue of school start dates goes beyond every child's desire for more summer fun; there is in fact a very real economic component to the decision. We recently looked at the implications of moving the school start date earlier in August, focusing on losses from reduced tourism.More

Sequestration cuts could deal blow to hotels
Hotels are facing the loss of one of their most lucrative business segments — government travel — as sequestration gets under way. Automatic spending cuts in effect across all government agencies have included the slashing of all non-essential travel by federal employees. The order to halt travel already has hit the hotel industry.More

Southwest, AirTran complete linking of their networks
The Dallas Morning News
Customers can now book connecting service between all Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways cities on a single ticket, Southwest said. Until this year, a customer could not book a ticket in which one leg was taken on Southwest and another leg was taken on AirTran. As of today, all Southwest and AirTran flights can be booked as connecting service.More

ASAE urges Congress to consider meetings' impact
Meetings Net
The American Society of Association Executives submitted testimony to a congressional subcommittee recently, urging the federal government not to restrict its employees from attending association conferences. ASAE also is asking its members to get involved by sharing stories of how their meetings improve society.More