WASHINGTON—New data from the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) underscores how a nationwide economic recovery will not be possible until Congress prioritizes emergency relief legislation for all segments of the travel industry.
A staggering $360 billion—or $2 billion per day—has been drained from the overall U.S. economy since March as a result of decreased travel demand due to the pandemic, according to research prepared by Tourism Economics.
The devastation has wiped out half of all travel-supported U.S. jobs—which prior to COVID-19 had provided employment for one in 10 Americans—between the onset of the pandemic and May 1.
To restore these lost jobs and spur an economic recovery, USTA is calling on the U.S. Senate to quickly pass its newly introduced relief bill, which includes the enhancement and expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program to provide critical aid to destination marketing organizations.
“It’s clear that travel jobs—which were by far the hardest-hit of any sector—won’t recover on their own,” said Tori Barnes, USTA EVP for public affairs and policy. “The ‘skinny’ relief bill moving through the Senate has good components, and we’re urging Congress to recognize that substantial and immediate aid for travel employers is really vital for the entire U.S. job market.”
She continued, “Many travel employers were left out of earlier rounds of legislative relief, and Congress must work quickly to ensure these businesses can continue to operate and help power an economic recovery in every corner of America.”
The travel industry is advocating for a number of other legislative priorities to be included in a final relief package, and urges Congress and the administration to quickly come together on a deal that provides relief, protection and stimulus to all sectors of the travel industry.