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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Travel industry working to avoid another 'lost decade'

A travel industry group outlined ways to reduce traveler wait times, improve customer service and provide a more tailored approach to security on Wednesday in a news conference addressing the industry's challenges in the decade following the September 11 attacks.

"We've really got to get to a situation in this country where we build the world's most secure and efficient travel system," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the national nonprofit U.S. Travel Association.

Among the recommendations: Reduce all airport security checkpoint delays to 10 minutes or less; decrease visa wait times to 10 days or less and cut international arrival waits to no more than 20 minutes.

Layered security measures and tightened entry restrictions ramped up since the attacks have contributed to what many in the travel industry call the "lost decade."

"In the past 10 years the rest of the world has increased their global, long-haul travel by 40%. In the same time period, the U.S. has basically increased less than 2%," Dow said. more