The resignation of Rep. Mark Foley was a
major embarrassment to the Republican party and a minor
embarrassment to the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, of
which he was a co-chair, but it's not the first time a leader of
our industry's Congressional caucus has left town in disgrace.
The founder of the
original caucus nearly 30 years ago was a Democratic Congressman
from South Carolina named John Jenrette, who resigned his seat in
1980 after being convicted of taking a bribe in an FBI sting
operation. He did jail time.
Jenrette may have
achieved even more lasting notoriety for confessing to the media
that he and his wife had sex on the steps of the U.S. Capitol one
night, an escapade that inspired the name of the comedy troupe The
Capitol Steps, a group that survives to this day.
What is it about
the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus that inspires such
Think back, way
back, to 2004 and 2005. Didn't it seem back then that Airbus was on
top of the
It was test driving
the mammoth A-380 aircraft and beating Boeing with orders and
deliveries. Boeing, meanwhile, was mired in boardroom squabbles,
spats with the government and a sex scandal in the executive suite.
Boeing, it seemed, could do nothing right.
Now the A-380 is
certifiably over budget and behind schedule, and Airbus and its
parent company are mired in boardroom squabbles. Now it seems that
Airbus can't do anything right.
It's a fickle
For those of us who
remember the airline takeover battles of the 1980s, Ryanair's
surprise takeover bid for Aer Lingus brought a tinge of nostalgia.
The brash upstart's $2 billion move struck us as an Irish replay of
Texas International's hostile takeover move against the much larger
Continental, nearly 30 years ago.
Those were the
days. Remember the ruinous People Express acquisition of Frontier?
The Texas Air attempt at a hostile takeover of TWA, which sent TWA
running into the arms of Carl Icahn? The brutal battle for
industry seems dull by comparison.
few weeks ago (Oct. 2, to be precise), we reported on some recent
remarks of Ewart Brown, Bermuda's minister of transport and
tourism, at an industry event in New York. We've been meaning to
congratulate the minister for his candor in describing the recent
ups and downs in Bermuda tourism.
"We rested on our
laurels ...; our repeat visitors got old ...; our drive toward
exclusivity made travelers feel excluded ...;
Those are not the
kinds of admissions we are accustomed to hearing from tourism
ministers, so it was both shocking and refreshing to hear them from
a policy maker of Brown's status.
Sometimes a key
step in getting it right is understanding why and where it went
wrong -- and admitting it out loud.
Here's hoping other
destinations will find the courage and the candor to do so when
things go wrong.
For more details on this article, see "Tourism minister: Bermuda is reversing a 'negative