U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the COVID relief package advancing through Congress:
“The relief package includes several provisions that will help accelerate the travel industry’s recovery from the devastating impacts of the virus. Among them: resources for vaccine distribution, airport funding, and Economic Development Administration grants.
“Given the severity of the impact on the travel and tourism industry, more work remains to provide critical recovery and stimulus measures to safely restore our industry. While we appreciate that there is more money included for the PPP, that program needs to be extended past March 31 and a third draw on loans should be allowed for the hardest hit businesses. We also call on Congress to pass the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act, and to dedicate additional funding for travel promotion grants.
“The American travel industry lost half a trillion dollars and millions of jobs last year, and it is still far from clear when demand for travel will be able to return. Bringing travel jobs back will require a holistic, comprehensive policy approach to shorten the recovery trajectory, and we are looking at this relief bill as one important step.”
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.