Eighty-seven percent of respondents to a recent survey—all of whom voted in the November 3 election—believe there should be another round of coronavirus-related relief from Washington, according to results released Tuesday by the U.S. Travel Association. The survey found a strong majority support for another relief bill among every voter group, demographic subgroup and geographic region.
U.S. Travel represents the U.S. economic sector that is suffering by far the most from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic—that is, America’s travel and tourism industry. Total travel spending in the U.S. is projected to finish the year down 45 percent from 2019. The travel industry—which, prior to the pandemic, supported employment for one out of every 10 Americans—now accounts for more than one-third of all the current unemployment in the country.
Travel cannot begin a recovery with alarming pandemic trends now causing new rounds of closures and restrictions. U.S. Travel, therefore, says it has been pleading for months for leaders to reach agreement on a fresh round of relief so that travel businesses can keep their doors open long enough to rehire their workers when conditions finally improve.
“The urgent needs of one of the country’s biggest job-creating sectors have been clear for some time, and it is now also clear that the voting public strongly desires action from Washington,” said U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow in a press statement. “Advancing a bipartisan coronavirus relief measure is both the right thing to do, and the right thing to do politically. And it needs to be done now—not in the next Congress—because large numbers of our small-business employers simply won’t survive that long and their lost jobs will then be permanent.”
At a minimum, U.S. Travel has said, rescuing travel jobs requires enhancements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to allow a second draw of funds; an expansion of PPP’s eligibility to allow non-profit and quasi-governmental destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to access aid; and an extension of the Coronavirus Relief Program through the end of 2021.
The survey released by U.S. Travel also found that four in five voters (79 percent) want the two political parties to work together on policy. This result includes majorities of both Joe Biden voters (82 percent) and Donald Trump voters (76 percent).
This week, a $908 billion COVID-19 relief plan was introduced to Congress by a bipartisan group of House and Senate lawmakers, NPR reports. The plan was not endorsed by either House or Party leadership or from the White House, NPR adds, saying that the path forward is “unclear.”
The survey, conducted for U.S. Travel by the research firm Heart + Mind Strategies LLC, was taken from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 voters.
Source: U.S. Travel Association