Lack of Goals and Comprehensive Data Hinders Effective Implementation
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) conducted a study on the Department of Transportation's (DOT) support for the travel and tourism industry. The DOT offers grant funding to state, local, and tribal governments, among other entities, for projects related to travel and tourism. The study found that six grant programs specifically address travel and tourism, while an additional 19 programs indirectly support the industry. In fiscal year 2022, DOT allocated approximately $5.6 billion for the six programs with travel and tourism provisions and nearly $68 billion for the other 19 programs.
However, the study identified two key challenges that hinder DOT's ability to effectively support travel and tourism. Firstly, there is a lack of specific goals outlined in DOT's National Travel & Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan. While the plan highlights general strategies and best practices, it lacks strategic goals directly related to travel and tourism. This absence makes it unclear what DOT intends to achieve through its efforts in supporting the industry.