After returning to the White House, the U.S. President Donald Trump cut off stimulus talks for a congressional coronavirus relief bill on Tuesday. The decision will affect already the hard-hit U.S. travel industry.
U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow said, “Hardworking Americans whose livelihoods depend on travel and tourism cannot wait until after the election for relief. The reality is that small businesses in every pocket of America are shuttering—they needed relief months ago, which has been made clear week after week.”
“With millions of Americans suffering, it is woefully shortsighted to end relief negotiations. New data from Tourism Economics shows that, without immediate aid, 50% of all travel-supported jobs will be lost by December—an additional loss of 1.3 million jobs. As travel supported 11% of all pre-pandemic jobs, it is simply not possible for the U.S. to expect a nationwide economic recovery without meaningful federal relief.
“On behalf of America’s travel workers, we are disheartened in the extreme that Congress and the administration failed to reach agreement on the relief this industry so desperately needed, despite clear evidence of mounting harm.
“U.S. Travel will continue advocating for relief for the millions of travel industry workers and small businesses who do so much for our economy,” added Mr. Dow.
Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association commented, “This is unacceptable and unconceivable with millions of Americans out of work and thousands of small businesses barely hanging on. It’s time for our leaders in Washington to put politics aside and chart a bipartisan path forward to help businesses and employees in the hardest-hit industries. Millions of jobs and the livelihoods of people who have built their small business for decades are just withering away because our leaders in Washington are prioritizing politics over people. America’s hotel industry is on the brink of collapse. We can’t afford to let thousands of small businesses die and all of the jobs associated with them be lost for many years.”
The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) issues the following statement:
“Against this backdrop of human suffering, extraordinary job loss and millions of small businesses closing, the Administration deciding to abandon relief negations is reprehensible. All businesses in the country have been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another, but few sectors have been as hard hit, or face a longer road to recovery, than the travel agency industry.
“More than 9 in 10 travel agencies’ business income is down at least 75 percent, even factoring in the relief programs created by the CARES Act. Close to 64 percent of travel agencies surveyed have laid off at least half their staff. All told, 73 percent of ASTA members predict they will be out of business in six months or less if current conditions hold and additional federal relief is not provided. Travel advisors cannot wait for additional federal aid to come in December 2020 or March 2021.
“We can no longer avoid the conversation surrounding the fact that our own government is not helping where it can and should. Rather – our own government is shirking responsibility and playing an active role bringing the travel industry to its knees.”