Get Us in Your Inbox
Every hour Congress fails to pass relief, hotels lose 400 jobs, with up to 3 million permanent jobs lost, according to American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
Survey results from the organization finds that nearly two-thirds (69%) of Americans will not travel for Christmas — and the majority of those who will travel for Christmas (74%) are overnighting with family or friends.
These results echo recent data from AAA Travel, which expects that 34 million fewer Americans will be traveling from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3 compared to last year’s holiday season (a decline of 29%).
Public health concerns, official guidance not to travel and an overall decline in consumer sentiment have encouraged the vast majority of Americans to stay home for the holidays.
Both AAA and AHLA associate the decline in holiday travel with new stay-at-home orders and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation that Americans avoid traveling over the holiday season.
"Public health concerns, official guidance not to travel and an overall decline in consumer sentiment have encouraged the vast majority of Americans to stay home for the holidays,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel, who also pointed out that Americans typically travel longer and farther during the Christmas holiday.
Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, is calling upon Congress to pass immediate relief now.
"We understand the importance of following CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and support the government’s actions,” he said. “However, with the dramatic decline in travel, hotels will face a harsh winter through no fault of our own. The hotel industry needs aid to survive until travel demand returns. Given this current environment, Congress cannot nor should not contemplate recess until a relief bill is passed now.”
Encouraged by the bilateral agreement displayed during ongoing talks regarding the Bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020, Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel Association’s executive vice president for public affairs and policy, also emphasized the need for relief now.
While we support this bipartisan bill as meaningful progress, we believe that next year a more comprehensive package targeted at the travel industry and others like it hit hardest by COVID-19 will be needed beyond this temporary bridge to March 2021.
“Travel and tourism, which supported employment for one in 10 Americans pre-pandemic, has been spiraling for months while a relief agreement has remained just beyond political reach,” she said. “It is crucial that Congress stay laser-focused on getting a measure across the finish line this year, and that it includes an expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program to include eligibility for non-profit destination marketing organizations and a second draw of funds for the hardest-hit industries.”
Zane Kerby, president and CEO of American Society of Travel Advisors, shared his organization’s support for the imminent congressional relief, including its extension of PPP funds and “tax deductibility of PPP loan proceeds; and an extension of the CARES Act’s unemployment programs for independent contractors and furloughed agency employees through March 2021.” But Kerby emphasized that more will be needed.
"While we support this bipartisan bill as meaningful progress, we believe that next year a more comprehensive package targeted at the travel industry and others like it hit hardest by COVID-19 will be needed beyond this temporary bridge to March 2021,” Kerby said. “We call on Congress, the leadership of both parties in particular, to work out their differences on COVID-19 relief and send a bill based on the Bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020 to President Trump's desk as soon as possible.”