SPONSORED:

Tourism industry calls for $300B in relief in coronavirus stimulus package

Tourism industry calls for $300B in relief in coronavirus stimulus package
© iStock

Thousands of travel organizations have teamed up on a letter calling on lawmakers to give the industry $300 billion in federal aid as the Senate negotiates a third coronavirus relief bill.

The letter was signed by 6,000 groups, including the U.S. Travel Association and organizations in transportation, lodging, recreation and entertainment, food and beverage, meetings, conferences and business events, travel advising and destination marketing. 

The groups are calling for the third coronavirus stimulus bill to include $300 billion for enhanced Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to the industry. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The U.S. Travel Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) had called for $150 billion in grants on Tuesday, but the new letter asks for increasing that loan amount as well as more financial assistance for severely impacted businesses through unsecured loans and loan guarantees.

Also, it seeks at least $10 billion in airport grants to pay debt service and maintain operations.

“Together we are grappling with the immediate and devastating impact of the current health crisis. Furloughs of American travel workers are happening right now. Travel to and within the United States has essentially ground to a stop due to the actions needed to halt the spread of coronavirus,” the groups wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Lawmakers say infrastructure efforts are falling victim to deepening partisan divide MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Pelosi challenger calls delay on COVID-19 relief bill the 'privilege of politics' MORE (D-Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerHouse Democrats introduce bill to invest 0 billion in STEM research and education Graham dismisses criticism from Fox Business's Lou Dobbs Lewandowski: Trump 'wants to see every Republican reelected regardless of ... if they break with the president' MORE (D-N.Y.), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcCarthy urges networks not to call presidential race until 'every polling center has closed' House Republicans slated to hold leadership election on Nov. 17 Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire MORE (R-Calif.).

The industry predicts it will cut 4.6 million jobs in the next six weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

McConnell plans to reach an agreement by midnight Friday on a third coronavirus package. He has set up the first vote related to the stimulus package for Sunday, in the event such a deal is reached. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“Unfortunately, the unprecedented shutdown of the travel economy requires an even greater and more aggressive response to prevent millions of Americans from losing their jobs,” the groups wrote. 

Aviation groups, including Airlines for America also wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' On The Money: Trump makes a late pitch on the economy | US economy records record GDP gains after historic COVID-19 drop | Pelosi eyes big COVID-19 deal in lame duck Pelosi challenger calls delay on COVID-19 relief bill the 'privilege of politics' MORE and congressional leadership, requesting immediate action because their current economic environment is not sustainable.

The airline industry requested $50 billion in federal assistance in the form of grants, loans and tax relief.