USTA, GBTA Cheer Passage Of Relief Bill

The U.S. Travel Association is cheering the passage of the coronavirus relief legislation – which contains numerous provisions championed by the struggling travel and tourism industry to help bring back economic activity and jobs – by the U.S. Congress.

The association’s president and CEO, Roger Dow said that: “Seeing this bill make it across the finish line is a huge relief after months of struggle.”

Dow made it clear that: “This legislation is a lifeline for businesses and workers who have been hanging on by a thread. More than four million travel jobs have been lost this year, and this package includes long-needed provisions to help employers keep their lights on — a second draw on PPP funds for the hardest-hit businesses, eligibility for non-profit destination marketing organizations, assistance to airports and concessionaires as well as airlines, and enhancements to the Employee Retention Tax Credit, among many others.”

And Dow added that: “Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Pelosi and Leader McCarthy all deserve significant praise for seeing this tough effort through to completion. Hopefully now that this challenging legislative step has been overcome, we can head into the next Congress with momentum for further substantive measures to rejuvenate businesses and jobs.”

Help for the industry

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) also hailed the passage of the new round of relief funding, with the association’s vice-president of government and community relations, Shane Downey stating that: “The COVID-19 pandemic has exacted an enormous toll on the travel ecosystem, which in turn has had a major negative impact on the U.S. and world economies.”

Downey continued: “As the voice of the business travel industry, GBTA is pleased to see Congress pass a relief package that will save jobs, fast track COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution and aid travel companies on the precipice of bankruptcy.”

And added: “We can’t emphasize enough how desperately needed this funding is, or how much this action by Congress will add momentum to a global travel and economic resurgence. With that said, we hope Congress soon will tackle necessary COVID-19 liability relief for companies at risk through no fault of their own.”