U.S. Travel Association Calls for Government Action to Protect Industry
By Harvey Chipkin
The U.S. government should consider “aggressive steps” to protect America’s workforce and employers in light of President Trump’s suspension of most air travel from Europe, said Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, an industry lobbying organization. He said the public’s health is the top concern, but now the policy conversation must address the health of the economy. Temporarily shutting off travel from Europe, said Dow, is going to exacerbate the already-heavy impact of coronavirus on the travel industry and the 15.7 million Americans whose jobs depend on travel. He said the association will continue to engage Congress and the administration on policy steps that are necessary to ensure that travel employers – 83% of which are small businesses – can keep the lights on for their employees. According to U.S. Travel economists, 850,000 international visitors flying from Europe (excluding the UK) entered the US in March of 2019, accounting for about 29% of total overseas arrivals to the US. These visitors spent approximately $3.4 billion in this country.