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Majority Want More Economic Stimulus, Especially For Beat Down Travel Industry

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A majority of Americans want more economic stimulus, especially for the travel industry, one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey by Morning Consult for the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), released on Thursday, showed that 70% of respondents think Congress should help the travel industry recover, including providing incentives to get Americans to travel again.

Right now, almost no one is traveling. It’s not necessarily because of money. It’s due to lockdowns, quarantine orders, and concerns over catching the virus.

Plus, popular summer tourist attractions remain closed. Disney World Orlando is closed, impacting hotels in Orlando and Kissimmee.

Broadway is closed, erasing one of the only reasons to go to New York City in the summertime. This week, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut governors announced that they would require people to quarantine for two weeks if coming from a state where the coronavirus is on the march. That all but eliminates southern state travel to the Tri-State Area for the foreseeable future.

To highlight just how much people are not interested in traveling, just 18% of respondents said they had booked a hotel since March.

The devastation caused to the hotel industry is already 9 times worse than 9/11, with more than 8 in 10 hotels having to lay off or furlough workers during the pandemic, according to AHLA.

Some takeaways from the Morning Consult poll:

  • By nearly a 3-1 margin, Americans support a new, temporary federal travel tax credit to encourage people to travel (61% support, 21% oppose).
  • By nearly a 3-1 margin, Americans support restoring the business entertainment expense deduction to encourage business travel (57% support, 21% oppose).
  • By more than a 3-1 margin, Americans support efforts by the federal government to require banks to offer debt relief or forbearance on commercial hotel mortgages (63% support, 16% oppose).

“Most hotels are still trying to survive,” says Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. The group is lobbying Washington to get stimulus support for the sector.

Many privately owned hotels were able to get Small Business Administration emergency relief grants and were recipients of the Payroll Protection Program.

According to Oxford Economics, hotels supported one in 25 American jobs, or around 8.3 million jobs in total. State and local tax revenue from hotel operations are estimated to drop by $16.8 billion in 2020, according to the report by Oxford.

The survey results suggest travel won’t return to some semblance of normalcy until next year. A majority of Americans told Morning Consult they had no plans on traveling out of state for the rest of 2020, a lost year for nearly everyone.



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