Travel incentives considered by officials |

Travel incentives considered by officials

Susan Wood

Heading off a decline in tourism since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid has launched an effort on Capitol Hill to establish travel incentives for Americans and tax relief for a sputtering industry.

Today, a bipartisan team intends to craft a broad package of initiatives to keep afloat tourism-related businesses like hotels and rental car companies. The package will be designed as part of an economic stimulus plan.

Highlights of the package may include aid for displaced workers, business meals write-offs, payroll tax relief, low interest loans for travel and tourism businesses and miscellaneous tax credits.

“Travel and tourism ranks as either the first, second or third leading industry in a majority of states across America,” the Nevada Democrat said. “As in Nevada, many of these states’ economies have suffered a drastic setback as a result of the recent terrorist attack. The travel initiatives we are proposing will help get people traveling again and coming to places like Nevada.”

In Lake Tahoe, tourism officials and business leaders are keeping an eye on the terrorist attack’s residual effect on the local economy’s mainstay industry.

After Sept. 11, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority central reservations line reports call volume dropped by 50 percent. Cancellations increased by the same amount.

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