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Bad news for San Diego hotels and restaurants: a government report suggests its workers spend less time here.

Travel between San Diego and Sacramento by employees of the U.S. Department of Interior has gotten so costly that the department's office of Inspector General has suggested more meetings be held by video teleconferencing to cut down on waste and pollution.

According to an evaluation released December 20, the government could "achieve significant savings on travel costs through the increased use of VTC, while also advancing its sustainability goal of helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The route between San Diego and Sacramento ranked 24th among the top 25 most frequently traveled "city pairs" by Interior workers, the report says.

236 trips costing a total of $157, 717 in transportation and other costs were tallied between San Diego and the state capital city.

Travel expenses between all 25 pairs studied by the inspector general's office totaled $6.9 million.

"The less obvious benefit from using VTC is the decrease in downtime related to employees waiting in airports and flying on airplanes."

According to the study, San Diego, along with Reno; Las Vegas; Bismarck, North Dakota; Boston, Mass.; Juneau, Alaska; and Minneapolis, Minn, currently have just one videoconferencing "end point" and could cut travel costs by installing additional equipment.

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