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Updates from the U.S. Travel Association

January 5, 2021

While the U.S. Travel Association has always worked for a better travel industry, 2020 has been a fight for our lives. Amid a lame duck period and presidential transition, the USTA is pushing for COVID relief and increased efforts to boost travel safety and demand.

The organization pushed especially hard for COVID relief during the last months of 2020, mobilizing with an “activation blitz” in December. At the time of press, we have yet to see what fruits these efforts will bear, but we can look ahead to 2021.

The USTA has already communicated with the Biden transition team, offering up priorities for the first 100 days of his presidency. Some recommendations include:

Support the passage of a COVID-19 Relief Bill

  • Extend the Paycheck Protection Program through the end of 2021
  • Enhance and extend the Coronavirus Relief Fund through 2021
  • Increase the Employee Retention Tax Credit Provide tax credits to help businesses prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Provide $13 billion in emergency assistance to U.S. airports

Enact economic stimulus measures to boost travel demand

  • Create tax credits to cover travel expenses
  • Provide $10 billion in grants for domestic travel promotion to local communities

Quickly develop science-driven, risk-based health and safety guidance that enables domestic travel, large meetings, events and conferences to resume

  • Establish a uniform set of health and safety guidelines for states and local governments
  • Implement testing, contact tracing and preventative measures
  • Remove financial barriers for testing, treatment and the eventual vaccine

Safely reopen international travel through a science-drive, risk-based approach to testing

Create a new Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism position at the U.S. Department of Commerce

Invest in the future of travel mobility and infrastructure

Set a national goal of welcoming 116 million international visitors by 2028

Invest in the future of travel mobility and infrastructure

  • Authorize $550 billion in federal funding for highways, transit, passenger rails and airport over five years
  • Expand federal funding opportunities for passenger rail
  • Support tax incentives and grants for electric vehicle charging stations to build a national network

View the full document here.

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