Let’s face it, this whole pandemic thing is a drag. With 32 million people on unemployment, bars and restaurants shutting down again, and no therapeutic or vaccine approved, most of us are sitting around at home, bored out of our minds… and a bit depressed.
But don’t worry, the travel industry’s got your back!
Overall, the travel industry expects to lose $1.2 trillion because of the pandemic. No one wants to get on a cruise ship, even if they were allowed to, and nonessential air travel is frowned upon. The state of New York requires citizens from more than 20 other states to self-quarantine for two weeks if they travel to the Empire State. All of this gives the term “staycation” new meaning. Even being home is no fun.
With their losses racking up and Americans needing a break, the travel industry has a modest proposal. The U.S. Travel Association (USTA), which represents everything from hotels to airports, wants a $10 billion federal grant to promote safe practices and liability protections, as well as $13 billion for airports and a refundable tax credit of up to 50% of travel expenses for up to $3,000 per family through 2022.
USTA Policy Chief Tori Emerson Barnes told Congress:
“As the virus continues to wreak havoc on society, the situation in the travel industry is only getting worse. The industry is now on track to shrink by $1.2 trillion by the end of the year. The travel industry is facing an economic environment that is 10 times worse than the aftermath of 9/11.”
There’s no doubt the travel industry is feeling pain. The Department of Labor estimates the industry has shed more than four million jobs since March, and airlines were granted a $50 billion bailout in March.
Should we nationalize the cost of saving the industry? It might be in our best interest. When it comes time to get away from it all, we definitely want to have a place to go… and a way to get there. Eventually the pandemic will end. If a significant portion of our hotel stock, airlines, and other travel-related businesses are shuttered, it will make it harder, and more expensive, to travel.
Just the thought of it is enough to cause more stress. We might need a vacation.
Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice. Do not take action based solely on this article and always consult with an appropriate healthcare professional. This article is purely for informational purposes.