Travel Industry Workers Cannot Wait Any Longer: Congress Must Make a Deal Now
September 04, 2020 By Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs and Policy, U.S. Travel Association
Travel jobs are in crisis.
More than half of the 15.8 million pre-pandemic, travel-supported jobs in the U.S. (51%) disappeared between March and the end of May, and the U.S. economy is on pace to lose more than $505 billion in travel spending this year. Hotels, attractions, restaurants and stores across the country are closing their doors forever.
The travel industry workers and small businesses who have suffered so much during this crisis cannot wait any longer for relief, nor can they cannot wait until after the election. Congress must act now to save these vulnerable jobs.
With Congress set to return to Washington next week, we urgently need congressional and administration negotiators to quickly reach a deal that provides relief, protection and stimulus to all sectors of the travel industry.
Our industry’s top, urgent legislative priorities to restore jobs and get America moving again:
- Provide long-term relief until recovery is possible, which includes expanding the PPP to include DMOs, extending the PPP to the end of the year and allowing a second draw on PPP, or other longer-term solutions such as long-term, low interest loans for the hardest-hit industries.
- Provide up to $10 billion in in federal grants to promote safe and healthy travel practices
- Provide limited, temporary and immediate safe harbor for businesses that follow proper health and safety guidelines
- Create temporary tax credits and deductions
- Develop a national strategy to expand COVID-19 testing by enacting the TEST Act
- Provide additional emergency assistance to U.S. airports
An economic recovery will not happen on its own. Immediate, targeted and substantial relief will be needed to restore lost travel industry jobs and put our nation on the path to recovery.
Congress, we are calling on you to finish the good work you started and finalize a deal immediately. The travel industry—and the millions of Americans whose livelihoods depend on this industry—are counting on it.
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