WASHINGTON (July 31, 2020)—U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the record plunge in U.S. GDP announced Thursday morning:

“This morning’s news of a 32.9% Q2 contraction is evidence that this economy is not going to be able to make it up off the mat without bold action by Congress to provide significant and meaningful relief.

“The travel industry, which helped employ one in 10 Americans last year, has been hit hardest by the economic fallout of the pandemic—having lost half its jobs already and on track for a drop of more than a half-trillion dollars in traveler spending by year’s end. Travel workers have a strong case to be a top priority in the next legislative package, and unless their employers can survive the worst of this downturn, a massive share of those jobs simply will not come back even as the overall economy begins to improve.

“A broader recovery won’t happen unless a travel recovery can happen, and that is going to take a comprehensive effort of relief, protection and eventual stimulus to prevent the travel industry depression from going on for years.”