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USTA: Travel Industry Damage Nine Times Worse Than 9/11

USTA looking to CARES for a bright spot on the horizon

The impact from the Covid-19 epidemic is nine times greater than from the 9/11 attacks. The travel industry has lost a full third of all the jobs lost in the U.S. and is experiencing a total impact from coronavirus that is nine times greater than the 9/11 attacks, according to new data released by the U.S. Travel Association and the analytics firm Tourism Economics.

By the end of April, declines in travel will cause eight million jobs to be lost out of approximately 24 million for the entire U.S. economy, according to the report. Travel spending losses are on track to top half a trillion dollars by the end of 2020.

“The CARES Act was a good start, but the data shows there is still extreme and mounting pain in the American travel industry,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “We’re appealing for fixes, the addition of more relief, faster rules, and greater flexibility.”

Travel Industry Losses

A decline of 45 percent for the entire year is expected. This includes an 81 percent drop in revenue over the next two months and continued losses over the rest of the year reaching $519 billion.

GDP Losses

Travel industry losses will result in a cumulative GDP impact of $651 billion in 2020. The  US economy is expected to enter a protracted recession based on the expected downturn in travel alone.  The recession is likely to last at least two quarters with the lowest point in the second quarter of 2020.

Other data analysis released by U.S. Travel this week compounds the dire economic picture for the American travel economy:

• Overall travel spending last week plunged to $2.9 billion—an 85 percent drop since the first week of March and 87 percent lower than the same week in 2019, according to a separate analysis by Tourism Economics.

• 90 percent of travelers surveyed had some type of travel or travel-related activity planned prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and 80 percent of those either canceled or postponed those plans, according to survey data from MMGY Travel Intelligence.