U.S. Travel Lost a Whopping $1.1 Trillion in 2020
Photo: The Financial Times
Travel’s economic footprint in the United States shrank a staggering 42% last year, from $2.6 trillion to $1.5 trillion, according to new end-of-year totals prepared for the U.S. Travel Association by the research firm Tourism Economics.
The employment devastation was similarly massive: travel-supported jobs fell by 5.6 million in 2020 (16.7 million to 11.1 million)—a whopping 65% of all American jobs lost to the economic fallout of the pandemic. Travel and tourism had supported employment for 11% of the U.S. workforce prior to the onset of COVID.
The new data on travel’s dramatic losses arrives as hundreds of industry leaders from across the country meet virtually today with members of Congress for Destination Capitol Hill, the U.S. Travel Association’s annual legislative fly-in.
“While the gradual progress of vaccinations has provided hope that a turnaround may be on the horizon, it is still unclear when travel demand will be able to fully rebound on its own,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “With the travel industry suffering such a disproportionate share of losses, policymakers need to understand that a nationwide economic recovery effectively hinges on a travel recovery.”
Specific bills for which the industry is advocating include the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act of 2021 and the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act of 2021.