Washington D.C., United States, March 19, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC states: “This incredible stimulus package will be welcomed by Travel & Tourism businesses across the U.S., many of whom are struggling to survive. This package promises a much-needed boost while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the sector.
The $14 billion allocated to airlines will come as a monumental relief, following almost a year without widespread international travel, which has left many on the brink of collapse.
Our recent economic modeling showed the devasting affect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the U.S. Travel & Tourism sector, with 9.2 million jobs impacted and $155 billion lost from the U.S economy due to the collapse of international travel last year. This catastrophic loss to the economy equates to a shortfall of $425 million every day, or nearly $3 billion a week.
WTTC and our 200 Members would like to thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for recognizing the importance of our sector.
These bold steps are needed to reinvigorate the travel sector and will provide a significant boost to the U.S. economy as the country begins to turn the tide against this terrible virus.
We also congratulate the new administration for the significant strides made in its vaccination program, and the deployment of thousands of troops to further ramp up these efforts. We welcome the latest plan to relax restrictions by Independence Day, which will give fresh hope to Americans.
However, we believe the key to restarting international travel is through the introduction of a comprehensive testing regime on departure and arrival.
Testing for non-vaccinated travelers, along with mandatory mask wearing and increased health and hygiene protocols, would allow the safe resumption on international travel. It would avoid the risk of transmission, save jobs and help plug the gaping hole in the stricken U.S economy.”