Coronavirus – Hits U.S Tourism Hard

Whilst the world continues to produce graphs and charts to demonstrate the impact on daily life due to the Coronavirus Pandemic there are some shocking numbers showing the impact that it has had on the tourist industry.

Each country is offering help in its own way and in the US every adult is receiving a stimulus cheque for $1200 from President Donald J. Trump printed on it. The unemployment figures in the states has risen to over 22 million and it is reported that at least a third of these job losses is from Travel and Tourism.

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) reports that air passenger traffic has decreased by 95% compared to the same period in 2019. The majority of those passing through American airports were airline crews members or healthcare workers destined for Covid-19 hot spots.

Due to the domestic nature of its business Southwest Airlines is currently the worlds largest fleet still flying. It is estimated that at least 50% of the worlds aircraft are currently grounded and at least 2,700 U.S aircraft are sitting idle. Virgin Atlantic is pleading for a UK Government bailout with Richard Branson offering up his Necker Island as collateral. Is is obvious that there will be collapses in the near future and some famous names will disappear.

One result in the decline of spending on travel have estimated a loss of $80 billion in tax revenue to the U.S Government. It is estimated that each household in America would have to pay $1,398 more in taxes due to the drop in revenue from travel and tourism. The impact of Coronavirus is reportedly 9 times worse on the travel industry than the 9/11 attacks.

The hotel industry in America has lost close to four million jobs including proposed losses. This is 70% of the hotel industry’s direct employees and hotel workers collectively losing out on $2.4 Billion in weekly earnings. By the end of May the U.S Travel Association projects that it will be closer to 4.6 million job losses.

Nearly 600 DMOs (Destination & Marketing Organisations) and CVB (Convention & Visitors Bureaus) have written to congressional leaders with a clear message – expand Paycheck Protection Programme eligibility. These organisations depend on funding from State and Federal organisations to promote and support the travel industry.

The final three cruise ships have returned to port and now there are no cruise ships at sea in the whole wide world. Cruise ships will have to demonstrate strict cleaning regimes on their rotations and build up consumer confidence. Why don’t they offer free WiFi as standard in this ever connected time that we live in?