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US Journey Affiliation Delivers State of the Journey Trade Handle

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Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Journey Affiliation, in his annual State of the Journey Trade speech, known as for aggressive authorities initiatives to create journey’s “Subsequent Nice Chapter” by way of large federal funding and different initiatives. He delivered the speech in a dwell 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 charge on the top of the Nice Melancholy.


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 increase the financial 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 also 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 resort 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 useful insurance policies would dramatically shorten that interval. He stated the nation wants to ensure all journey companies—inns, airways, sights, theme parks, rental automotive corporations, cruise traces, unbiased tour operators, journey businesses and so many others—can maintain themselves by way of this disaster.

Dow stated the U.S. ought to set a nationwide aim of welcoming 116 million worldwide guests yearly by 2028 and reestablish this nation as essentially the most welcoming on the planet. 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 yr) and that quantity is projected to be 33 million this yr. Dow additionally instructed the media that the world had witnessed the assault on the Capitol and that solely by welcoming worldwide guests might the U.S. exhibit to them that this can be a protected nation.

U.S. Journey, stated Dow, is looking on the federal authorities to take a position $550 billion in highways, transit programs, 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 method. However he stated the nation “must dream greater” — to look past current programs and put money into new modes of transportation.

Dow known as on the federal government to offer insurance policies and incentives to soundly 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 getting older, underperforming infrastructure made it more and more tough to get round.

The nation should additionally look past its borders and improve its international 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 ascertain a brand new Assistant Secretary for Journey and Tourism throughout 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 companies.

San Luis Obispo, California
PHOTO: Mountaineering in San Luis Obispo, California. (photograph courtesy Metropolis of San Luis Obispo Tourism)

To grow to be a real international chief, stated Dow, America should even be considered as a welcoming nation. Because of this the mission of Model USA, he stated, is extra necessary than ever. Given the collapse in worldwide inbound journey—this system’s most important supply of public income—U.S. Journey is asking the federal authorities for the continued assist and safety of Model USA so it might probably hold selling the U.S. to guests around the globe.

The nation also needs to seize this chance, stated Dow, to reimagine a stronger, extra progressive air journey ecosystem. One necessary approach to strengthen air journey, he stated, is to speed up the implementation of biometric know-how. Biometric identification supplies sooner facilitation, larger accuracy and a safer journey atmosphere. These touchless programs, he stated, additionally create a extra handy, hygienic consumer expertise – an necessary consider coping with the present public well being disaster.

U.S. Journey, stated Dow, is looking on the federal authorities to broaden biometric exit programs at the moment working at 20 airports and 7 seaports. People ought to have the choice to take part voluntarily, giving residents the selection to decide out of biometric screenings for any motive. He stated there should even be continued enchancment of the REAL ID Act. Based on the Division of Homeland Safety, solely 38 p.c of People are REAL ID-compliant. Enforcement is ready to start on Oct. 1, however the pandemic has made it tougher to get to motorized vehicle company workplaces.

Lastly, the U.S. should improve its journey facilitation packages, 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 must be consolidated into one program. He additionally stated International Entry and preclearance areas must be expanded to Visa Waiver Program international locations, and the U.S. ought to expedite visas for low-risk candidates and automate non-immigrant visa functions.

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


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