Politics of Travel: Delayed Passage of Infrastructure Bill, NetZero Air Emissions and the Last Unvaxed Train to Clarksville

It is the end of the first week of October! So many things are coming up, Canadian WorkshopsGBTA Convention, U.S. Thanksgiving, the best day of the year,  GBTA Conference Europe 2021 and Christmas! I will happily send you my letter to Santa. BUT before we get there, we must first finish the Politics of Travel. As for the manufactured crisis of the U.S. debt limit – it was pushed to early December, maybe there are now threats of a filibuster. (color me shocked).

DEATH OF A SALESMAN?: In Death of a Salesman, Biff is Willy Loman’s embodiment of Willy’s inner hopes to give another go at life and, perhaps, undo his own failed attempts to make something out of himself. Biff, as an extension of Willy, is his eldest son and biggest hope. And so I ask is BIF, as some call the Bi-Partisan Infrastructure deal, the same to President Biden? Doubtful – my analysis is typically as deep as a mudpuddle but I was reaching to tie it all together. No Offense to President Biden, Biff or Willy Loman.

Last week, Congress failed to find a path forward on the $550 billion infrastructure deal and the $3.5 trillion social spending plan. Democratic House leadership conceded they would not hold an infrastructure vote before heading home for the weekend. Instead, lawmakers voted on a short-term extension of existing road projects.

Activity still needed: As negotiations continue, it would be helpful to those in the U.S. to contact your members of Congress and request they support the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021, legislation that would provide comprehensive relief and recovery measures for the convention, trade show, entertainment, travel and hospitality industries and their workers. This would drive support so that portions of the legislation could be considered for additions to the larger social spending bill.

“I’M GONNA GO TO TIMMIES REAL QUICK AND GRAB ME A BOX OF TIMBITS.” October 6, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled rules that mandate Covid vaccines for Canada’s public servants as well as workers and passengers in the federally regulated rail, marine and air sectors.

Starting Oct. 30, employers and PASSENGERS in these sectors will be required to establish and implement vaccination policies for their organizations. That means you must be vaccinated to fly on planes in Canada.

SAVED BY ZERO: At this weeks’ annual meeting, the International Air Transport Association approved a resolution to reach net zero emissions by 2050. As noted by Politico, meeting the target would likely cost “close to $2 trillion,” said IATA Director General Willie Walsh. But not meeting green targets would see consumers turn away from those airlines, Walsh suggested. Aviation accounts for around 2 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. GBTA is and will engage with the EU, U.S. and Canadian governments on responsible business travel actions. Please contact me if your company is taking steps to shrink your carbon footprint.

JOHNNY CAB: ONLY 15 PERCENT OF ADULTS READY TO RIDE IN AN AV TODAY: a survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the Chamber of Progress, found that just 15 percent of adults polled said they are “ready now” to ride in an autonomous vehicle, while 38 percent said they will be ready in the next 1-5 years and 27 percent said they will “never be ready”. I never say never, but I am pretty much in the never category. Have you included language in your travel policy prohibiting the use of AVs?

GBTA members, staff and every one of our fantastic partners are kicking off a busy end of the year! I leave you with this and say safe travels! #businessneedstravel

Shane Downey
Vice President, Government & Community Relations
[email protected]
(O) 703 236-1131
(C) 703 459-7425