Travel and tourism are critical drivers of the American economy, generating $2.6 trillion in economic output and supporting one in ten American jobs—15.8 million in total—in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the U.S. travel industry. From March-December 2020, the pandemic has resulted in nearly $500 billion in losses for the U.S. travel economy, equivalent to a daily loss of $1.6 billion for ten months.
While travel is expected to begin resuming as more people become vaccinated, it will take years to return to our pre-pandemic levels. There are several steps Congress can take to help accelerate that regrowth.