U.S. Travel Association Reveals Coronavirus Impact On Travel Is 9x Worse Than 9/11

By the end of 2020, travel spending losses are on track to lose half a trillion dollars.

(Washington, D.C.) — The travel industry has seen a devastating hit due to Americans across the country being ordered to "stay at home."

According to new data released by the U.S. Travel Association and the analytics firm Tourism Economics, the travel industry is currently experiencing a total impact that is nine times greater than seen as a result of the attacks of 9/11. 

Additionally information found that one third of all jobs lost in the U.S. have been in the travel industry. By the end of April, these declines will cause eight million jobs to be lost out of the approximately 24 million for the entire U.S. economy. 

By the end of 2020, travel spending losses are on track to lose half a trillion dollars.

"The CARES Act was a good start, but the data shows there is still extreme and mounting pain in the American travel industry," said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. "We're appealing for fixes, the addition of more relief, faster rules, and greater flexibility."

Dow goes on to say that a central issue is that the Paycheck Protection Program funds have already been depleted and need to be replenished immediately. 

"The relief program needs to fit the crisis, and we're still learning the magnitude and intricacies of this particular crisis," Dow said.

Data released shows the economic picture for the American travel economy:

  • According to a separate analysis by Tourism Economics.
    • Overall travel spending last week plummeted to $2.9 billion
      • An 85% drop since the first week of March 
      • An 87% lower than the same week in 2019
  • According to survey data from MMGY Travel Intelligence.
    • 90% of travelers surveyed had some type of travel or travel-related activity planned prior to the COVID-19 outbreak
    • 80% of those either canceled or postponed those plans

To address issues with the CARES Act, U.S. Travel has urged Congress to:

  • Expand eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to DMOs that are classified as 501(c)(6) non-profits or "political subdivisions" of their local governments, as well as to small businesses that operate multiple locations (with fewer than 500 employees per location).
  • Appropriate an additional $600 billion for the PPP and extend the coverage period through December 2020. The PPP is currently slated to expire on June 30—the economy will not realistically be in recovery by then—and the initial round of funding is expected to run out in just a few weeks.
  • Revise the PPP maximum loan calculation to 8x a business' monthly outlays, and allow it to cover both payroll and non-payroll expenses. Currently the formula is 2.5x and covers payroll only, not other expenses—inadequate for immediate needs.

Visit U.S. Travel's COVID-19 Travel Industry Research Page for more information. 

For a full treatment of the travel industry's policy recommendations to Congress, click here

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