Only connect

We are in complete accord with the U.S. Travel Association's new campaign to educate citizens and policymakers about the need for this country to attend to its infrastructure.

Telecommunications may have made the world smaller, but people and goods still have to move, and we can't move an inch without good bridges and roads, airports, railroads, port facilities, canals and waterways. U.S. Travel is absolutely correct that when these systems become overburdened or obsolete, the travel experience is diminished rather than enhanced. Our product is devalued.

Thus it was heartening to see travel industry people mingling with infrastructure people at U.S. Travel's Connecting America Through Travel conference in Washington last month.

The expectation and the hope is that by joining forces with the people who plan, build and manage infrastructure projects, the travel industry can leverage its lobbying and public awareness efforts.

An important part of this effort is to break down the barriers between travel modes and between booking modes. A fast train between New York and Washington is of little value if you can't get through town to get to the station. Similarly, the value of an airline ticket rises steeply if it includes an express transfer to the airport.

The best way to make anything better is to make it easy. For too many potential travelers, unfortunately, travel is still too hard.
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