The worst impacts on travel jobs by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be felt within the next six weeks, according to the latest data from the U.S. Travel Association. While the organization had earlier released a projection that losses due to the virus could mean the loss of 4.6 million travel jobs in the United States by the end of the year, an updated analysis shows that this 4.6 million job loss could occur by the end of April.
Additionally, the virus is set to cause the loss of $202 billion in direct travel spending before May, according. To the latest data from the US. Travel Association. As a result, the non-airline travel sector is seeking $250 billion in disaster relief to avoid putting millions of Americans out of work.
"The news we have for policymakers and the public is very challenging: the 15.8 million American jobs supported by travel are directly in the crosshairs of the health crisis, and the only thing that's going to protect them is aggressive financial relief right now," said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow, who on Tuesday presented the economic impact projections and the travel industry's relief request to President Trump and Vice President Pence at a White House meeting, in a written statement.
"There are countless stories of travel businesses—83 percent of which are small businesses—working hard to do right by their workers,” Dow said in a written statement. “But the cold reality is they can't support their employees if they don't have any customers, and they don't have any customers because of the actions needed to halt the spread of coronavirus. Millions of Americans shouldn't have to lose their jobs by acting in the interest of public health.”
Dow said that the economic effects of the travel shutdown due to the pandemic could become worse and permanent unless the government acts now.
Relief measures requested by U.S. Travel on behalf of the industry include:
- Establish a $250 billion Travel Workforce Stabilization Fund to keep workers employed.
- Provide an Emergency Liquidity Facility for travel businesses to remain operational.
- Bulk up and streamline the SBA loan programs to support small businesses and their employees.