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US Journey Affiliation Delivers State of the Journey Business Tackle

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Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Journey Affiliation, in his annual State of the Journey Business speech, known as for aggressive authorities initiatives to create journey’s “Subsequent Nice Chapter” by way of huge federal funding and different initiatives. He delivered the speech in a stay webcast from the Nationwide Press Membership in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

Dow stated that since March the business has suffered greater than $500 billion in pandemic associated losses and journey business unemployment climbed to 51% – greater than double the nationwide fee on the top of the Nice Melancholy.

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U.S. Journey, stated Dow, has been working with President Biden’s administration on insurance policies that may be adopted in his first 100 days to jump-start journey and enhance the economic system.

He stated this implies: first getting a deal with on the virus by way of vaccines and well being and security practices; second, establishing a nationwide plan to construct confidence in home journey by way of clear public well being steering and boosting journey demand with aggressive financial stimulus measures; and third, safely reopening worldwide journey by way of risk-based COVID-19 testing protocols and eradicating worldwide journey bans.

In reply to media questions after his speech, Dow stated U.S. Journey is against testing for COVID-19 passengers on home flights however in favor of it for worldwide routes. He stated the affiliation can be against quarantines as a result of they’re “disruptive” and tough to implement. Dow stated {that a} layered method that features well being and security protocols and testing would work higher than quarantines. ”I’d not go wherever,” stated Dow, “if I needed to sit in a lodge room for 14 days.”

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Whereas some predict that the restoration of journey will take 5 years, Dow stated that was “far too lengthy” and that implementing really helpful insurance policies would dramatically shorten that interval. He stated the nation wants to ensure all journey companies—motels, airways, points of interest, theme parks, rental automobile corporations, cruise traces, impartial tour operators, journey companies and so many others—can maintain themselves by way of this disaster.

Dow stated the U.S. ought to set a nationwide purpose of welcoming 116 million worldwide guests yearly by 2028 and reestablish this nation as probably the most welcoming on the earth. The U.S. welcomed 79 million worldwide guests in 2019, which plummeted to 19 million in 2020 (virtually all within the first quarter of the 12 months) and that quantity is projected to be 33 million this 12 months. Dow additionally informed the media that the world had witnessed the assault on the Capitol and that solely by welcoming worldwide guests may the U.S. display to them that it is a secure nation.

U.S. Journey, stated Dow, is asking on the federal authorities to take a position $550 billion in highways, transit methods, passenger rail and airports over the subsequent 5 years. He stated the nation should additionally prioritize funding for nationwide parks to allow them to proceed to deal with their deferred upkeep initiatives and welcome guests in a sustainable approach. However he stated the nation “must dream greater” — to look past current methods and spend money on new modes of transportation.

Dow known as on the federal government to supply insurance policies and incentives to securely carry again conferences and occasions, saying whereas “we’re all grateful for Zoom,” it’s no substitute for in-person conferences. He known as on the federal government to prioritize infrastructure, saying that even earlier than the pandemic, the nation’s growing old, underperforming infrastructure made it more and more tough to get round.

The nation should additionally look past its borders and improve its world competitiveness, stated Dow. To assist develop a coherent, government-wide technique to spice up journey exports, stated Dow, U.S. Journey has known as on the Biden administration to determine a brand new Assistant Secretary for Journey and Tourism inside the Division of Commerce. In 2019, journey was America’s second-largest business export, accounting for 10 p.c of all U.S. exports of products and providers.

San Luis Obispo, California
PHOTO: Mountain climbing in San Luis Obispo, California. (picture courtesy Metropolis of San Luis Obispo Tourism)

To turn out to be a real world chief, stated Dow, America should even be considered as a welcoming nation. Because of this the mission of Model USA, he stated, is extra essential than ever. Given the collapse in worldwide inbound journey—this system’s principal supply of public income—U.S. Journey is asking the federal authorities for the continued assist and safety of Model USA so it might hold selling the U.S. to guests all over the world.

The nation also needs to seize this chance, stated Dow, to reimagine a stronger, extra revolutionary air journey ecosystem. One essential solution to strengthen air journey, he stated, is to speed up the implementation of biometric expertise. Biometric identification supplies sooner facilitation, higher accuracy and a safer journey setting. These touchless methods, he stated, additionally create a extra handy, hygienic consumer expertise – an essential think about coping with the present public well being disaster.

U.S. Journey, stated Dow, is asking on the federal authorities to develop biometric exit methods at the moment working at 20 airports and 7 seaports. Individuals ought to have the choice to take part voluntarily, giving residents the selection to choose out of biometric screenings for any purpose. He stated there should even be continued enchancment of the REAL ID Act. In keeping with the Division of Homeland Safety, solely 38 p.c of Individuals are REAL ID-compliant. Enforcement is about to start on Oct. 1, however the pandemic has made it tougher to get to motorcar company workplaces.

Lastly, the U.S. should improve its journey facilitation applications, Dow stated, noting {that a} extra streamlined method to journey facilitation will probably be essential to dealing with the approaching resurgence in journey demand. He stated TSA Precheck, International Entry, Sentri and Nexus needs to be consolidated into one program. He additionally stated International Entry and preclearance places needs to be expanded to Visa Waiver Program nations, and the U.S. ought to expedite visas for low-risk candidates and automate non-immigrant visa functions.

Recalling the business’s “Comeback Decade” throughout the 2010s following the crises of 9/11 and the Nice Recession, Dow stated journey’s subsequent chapter will probably be “fueled by the power of the outstanding women and men who contribute a lot to this business.”

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