Thousands of U.S. Travel Agencies Make Desperate Plea for Relief
The U.S. travel industry is predicted to lose around 4.6 million jobs in the next 6 weeks because of the virtual shutdown of travel that is being caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to research prepared for U.S. Travel by Tourism Economics.
According to a news report posted on the eturbonews.com website, the numbers highlight the need for urgent action by the federal U.S. government.
More than 6,000 travel industry and related organizations on Friday sent a joint letter to congressional leadership requesting aggressive and immediate financial relief in light of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The signees—which include organizations in transportation, lodging, recreation and entertainment, food and beverage, meetings, conferences and business events, travel advising, and destination marketing—represent businesses that support 15.8 million American jobs.
U.S. Travel and the 6,000 signees are asking U.S. Congress to include measures in its “Phase III” coronavirus emergency relief package, such as a $150 billion in travel employment grants and provision of greater financial assistance to severely impacted businesses by increasing the aggregate loan amount for severely distressed industries above $150 billion and providing the assistance through unsecured loans and loan guarantees.
The petition also includes provision of at least $10 billion in airport grants to pay debt service, maintain operations, and provide critical services, along with ensuring additional support for airport businesses and essential aviation service providers. The entire aviation ecosystem that powers commercial air travel must be supported.
“Time is of the essence,” said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow. “Through no fault of their own, millions of American workers will lose their jobs in the coming weeks. Congress must act now to ensure these businesses and workers can sustain themselves through this crisis and are able to help power America’s economic recovery when the worst is behind us.”