The travel and tourism industry is trending to be one of the hardest hit industries as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19 and the industry will be seeing the effects of this pandemic for months, if not years, to come. Yeterday a group of leaders from 11 travel and tourism associations representing various parts of the industry convened in person and by phone in Washington, D.C., to discuss the key issues facing the industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that small businesses are not overlooked as government relief is addressed. The U.S. Department of Commerce was also a part of the discussion.
Travel industry leaders stressed the vital and urgent need of the federal government to take action that is swift, clear in its direction, and provides grants, favorable loans, and other relief mechanisms to address the market failure small businesses face within the travel and tourism industry.
According to a recent U.S. Travel analysis, COVID-19 and the associated travel restrictions will result in an $809 billion hit on the United States economy and a loss of 4.6 million travel-related American jobs this year, nearly doubling the unemployment rate in the U.S. In addition, total spending on travel in the United States, which includes transportation, lodging, retail, attractions, and restaurants, is expected to fall by $355 billion. What is most troubling is that this projected $355 billion is a 31 percent decrease from last year and is six times greater than the impact of 9/11.
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