The White House officially announced president Trump’s 55 page document detailing his long awaited $1.5 trillion dollar proposal to overhaul Americas failing infrastructure. The plan focuses on four main areas: generating the $1.5 trillion for the proposal, advancing workforce training, streamlining the permitting process and investing in rural infrastructure projects.
Most of the US infrastructure including roads, bridges, freeways, airports, shipping ports, drinking water and wastewater systems were built decades ago to spur economic growth after World War 2. Since that time, little has been done to update those decade old systems. Because of the lack of proper maintenance it is costing our economy billions of dollars every year.
Why is this important to the travel industry? According to US Travel Association, domestic travelers spent over 836 billion dollars, making up 84% of total travel expenditures in the US in 2016. Our overly congested road and freeway systems are carrying more vehicles than ever and many would-be tourists are choosing to stay closer to home. According to the Department of Transportation, one in four US bridges are structurally deficient or unable to support the current levels of traffic crossing them.
Of all the airports in the US, only 4 of them ranked in the top 50 worldwide and the flight delays cost our economy over 24 billion in 2012 according to Business Roundtable report.
The truth is the travel industry is very reliant on safe and properly functioning infrastructure to transport people via car, plane, boat, train etc. The nations infrastructure has been ignored for decades and the longer our politicians put it off, the more it will end up costing tax payers in the long run. 1.5 trillion is a very large sum of money but most Americans polled agreed that we need to spend more on improvements.
How do you feel about the proposal from a tourism perspective? Do you think it’s vital for our economy to improve our road systems, airports, seaports and passenger rail systems? Leave your comments below. We’d love to hear your feedback.