Impacting Travel

Travel industry disappointed by end of aid talks

President Donald Trump announced that talks between his administration and Congress have stopped and will not resume until after the election.

In a tweet, the president said: “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election, when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major stimulus bill that focuses on hard-working, and small businesses. “

The announcement stands in contrast to recommendations made by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H Powell, who noted in a speech earlier today that an economic stimulus was needed, according to the Washington Post.

The Travel Association of the United States, which had been working diligently to get more help from the government, reacted with disappointment.

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CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement regarding the end of the coronavirus relief negotiations:

“Hardworking Americans whose livelihoods depend on travel and tourism can’t wait until after the election for help. The reality is that small businesses in every corner of America are closing; They needed help for months, which has been made clear week after week.

“With millions of Americans suffering, it is sadly shortsighted to end the aid negotiations. New data from Tourism Economics shows that without immediate help, 50% of all travel-funded jobs will be lost in December, an additional loss of 1.3 million jobs. Given that travel supported 11% of all pre-pandemic jobs, the US simply cannot expect a national economic recovery without significant federal relief.

“On behalf of America’s travel workers, we are extremely disheartened that Congress and the administration failed to agree on the relief this industry so desperately needed, despite clear evidence of increasing damage.

“US Travel will continue to advocate for relief for the millions of travel industry workers and small businesses who do so much for our economy.”

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) has also responded to the news that talks about further relief from COVID-19 have been dropped.

“In this context of human suffering, extraordinary loss of jobs and the closure of millions of small businesses, the Administration’s decision to abandon the denials of aid is reprehensible. All companies in the country have been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another, but few sectors have been as affected, or face a longer road to recovery, than the travel agency industry, ”it read. in the ASTA statement.

“The business revenues of more than nine out of 10 travel agencies have been reduced by at least 75 percent, even taking into account the assistance programs created by the CARES Act. About 64 percent of the travel agencies surveyed have laid off at least half of their staff. In all, 73 percent of ASTA members forecast that they will close their operations in six months or less if current conditions hold and no additional federal relief is provided. Travel consultants can’t wait for extra federal help to arrive in December 2020 or March 2021.

“We can no longer avoid the conversation about the fact that our own government is not helping where it can and should. Rather, our own government is shirking responsibility and playing an active role in bringing the travel industry to its knees. “