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WhatThe coronavirus’ total impact on the travel industry will be nine times more devastating than 9/11, according to new data released by the U.S. Travel Association and analytics firm Tourism Economics. By the end of April, the travel industry will have comprised about one-third of all jobs lost in the U.S. due to the outbreak — representing approximately 8 million jobs out of the 24 million that make up the country’s economy.
Why It MattersThe CARES Act, which was designed to re-stimulate the economy during the pandemic, allowed a variety of businesses and individuals to apply for financial aid. This was a step in the right direction, but it fell short. Notably, critical loan initiatives such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (both of which are applicable to many travel advisors, travel agencies and suppliers) dried up rapidly and are in urgent need of replenishment. Currently, several eligible business owners remain without the funds that they qualify for.
Congress needs to step in immediately, revise these policies and provide forward-thinking solutions that mirror the amplitude of the crisis we are experiencing.
RELATED: Travel Leaders Advisors Highlight the CARES Act's Shortcomings
Fast Facts- The loss in travel-related spending is set to top $500 billion by the end of the year.
- Travel spending last week was $2.9 billion, representing an 85% drop since the first week of March 2020 and 87% lower year-over-year, according to Tourism Economics.
- 90% of Americans surveyed had travel planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak, but 80% of these travelers had to cancel or postpone their plans, according to additional survey data from MMGY Travel Intelligence.
- The U.S. Travel Association has outlined several requests for Congress as they seek to revise the CARES Act, including expanding eligibility for the PPP; pouring an additional $600 billion in funds to the PPP; extending the PPP’s coverage date from June 30 through December; and shifting the maximum loan calculation to cover eight times the amount of a business’ monthly expenses; and revising the loan requirements to allow it to include non-payroll expenses.
What They Are Saying"The CARES Act was a good start, but the data shows there is still extreme and mounting pain in the American travel industry," said Roger Dow, president and CEO for the U.S. Travel Association. "We’re appealing for fixes, the addition of more relief, faster rules and greater flexibility. The relief program needs to fit the crisis, and we're still learning the magnitude and intricacies of this particular crisis."
The DetailsU.S. Travel Associationwww.ustravel.org
Read more from TravelAge West about the COVID-19 outbreak.