Travel lobbying: Cuba, medical leave cost $305,000

Money may be tight in the travel business, but there’s always some pocket change hanging around for lobbyists. In the first quarter of 2010, the American Hotel & Lodging Association shelled out $305,000 on federal lobbying. Cuba was one of the top items, along with labor issues such as family medical leave and health insurance for small businesses in the industry.

Shocked at the number? I am, too. I figured it would be a tad higher. Given the strain on the travel industry as a result of prevailing economic conditions, I had a feeling that the industry would be lobbying hard for flexibility to save some cash and add a little more to the till.

The organization’s lobbying targets included Congress and the Departments of Labor, Commerce and Homeland Security.