Travel Scandal: Orlando, Reno and Las Vegas on Government Blacklist?
As the travel industry suffers from a downturn in business and group travel, destinations with a reputation for fun are among the hardest hit. According to the Wall Street Journal, Orlando, Las Vegas and Reno are three destinations believed to be on a blacklist when it comes to booking government meetings. The article quotes a Department of Justice spokeswoman as saying, “We do have guidance that says avoid locations and accommodations that give the appearance of being lavish or are resort destinations.”
Last week, a bill to prevent federal agencies from ruling out tourist destinations as places to hold meetings was introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The August 3, 2009 issue of Travel Weekly quotes U.S. Travel Association president Roger Dow as saying, “Face-to-face meetings are often the most productive ways to strengthen relationships, develop strategies, increase productivity and achieve organizational goals.”
Considering these places are among the best-value domestic destinations, the government’s decision to place them on a blacklist (if such a “list” does in fact exist) is strange indeed.
My name: Genevieve Shaw Brown. I also answer to Genny and Gen.
How I earn my keep: I work at Travelocity.
Greatest travel lesson learned: I travel for my job, but I've learned work is work, vacation is vacation, and it's best not to try and do both on one trip.
Fondest travel memory: There are so many... but a recent experience was being totally jet-lagged and waking up pre-dawn in Koh Samui, Thailand, and watching the sun rise with my husband on the beach. We talked about what all our friends and family were doing at that very same moment as the sun set back home in New York.
First thing I do in a new place: Peruse the local restaurants and map out my dining strategy for the duration of my trip. Dining strategy = eating at as many restaurants as humanly possible.
First thing I do when I get home: Put a push pin on the destination I just returned from on the map of the world that hangs on the wall above my couch.
Travel ambition: To cover that map completely in push pins.
My most beloved place in the whole world: Cockle Cove Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts.