The U.S. travel community reacted with sadness to the passing of James L. Oberstar, a former 18-term House member from Minnesota and longtime dean of U.S. transportation policy.
A founding member of the Congressional Travel & Tourism Caucus when it was created in 1979, Oberstar was recalled by officials at the U.S. Travel Association as a steady and reliable friend to travel.
"Jim Oberstar understood the fundamental truth that investment in transportation infrastructure is just that—an investment, which pays outsize dividends in economic activity and enhanced quality of life," said Oberstar's onetime neighbor, U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. "Washington sometimes seems to forget that for centuries, our strong infrastructure enabled the economic growth that made the Unites States the world's leading democracy. But Jim never did. He was an exemplary public servant, he was an unparalleled leader on transportation issues, and he was also my neighbor here in the Beltway for many years; I'm very sorry to see him go."
"Mr. Oberstar was a role model and inspiration for me and so many others who knew and worked for him," said U.S. Travel Senior Director for Policy Erik Hansen, a former Oberstar aide. "I'm deeply saddened by his passing and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time."
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 14.9 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.
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