One of the first things President Donald Trump did after leaving the hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19 was to end stimulus talks until after the election. Then the next day, he changed his message saying he would support stimulus checks and help for the airline industry.

The U.S. Travel Association is speaking out and its president and CEO, Roger Dow, issued the following statement:

“Hardworking Americans whose livelihoods depend on travel and tourism cannot wait until after the election for relief. The reality is that small businesses in every pocket of America are shuttering—they needed relief months ago, which has been made clear week after week.

“With millions of Americans suffering, it is woefully shortsighted to end relief negotiations. New data from Tourism Economics shows that, without immediate aid, 50% of all travel-supported jobs will be lost by December—an additional loss of 1.3 million jobs. As travel supported 11% of all pre-pandemic jobs, it is simply not possible for the U.S. to expect a nationwide economic recovery without meaningful federal relief.

“On behalf of America’s travel workers, we are disheartened in the extreme that Congress and the administration failed to reach agreement on the relief this industry so desperately needed, despite clear evidence of mounting harm.

“U.S. Travel will continue advocating for relief for the millions of travel industry workers and small businesses who do so much for our economy.”

The U.S. travel industry is in peril and time is running out, stresses the U.S. Travel Association. “It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and prioritize the many businesses and employees in the hardest-hit industries,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, said. According to estimates, more than half (55%) of all small travel businesses in the U.S. are at risk of either taking longer than six months to recover, or never recovering at all.

Further, the industry continues to experience historic levels of revenue decline with losses totaling a staggering $2 billion dollars per day, according to the U.S. Travel Association. The travel industry cannot wait until after the Supreme Court battle or until after the election, it adds, it needs stimulus help now.

“Workers and business owners in the travel sector are struggling to understand why leaders in Washington are not at the negotiating table round the clock, when evidence of acute pain in every corner of the country is so clear,” Dow said.

The U.S. Travel Association can be reached at ustravel.org 

For information on the RESTART ACT, ASTA’s legislative priority, click here.