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Travel CEOs unite in stark call for relief bill

Travel CEOs unite in stark call for relief bill
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Written by Harry S. Johnson

The CEOs of 17 of the largest U.S. travel companies joined the U.S. Travel Association in the following statement pleading with leaders in Washington to advance a subsequent round of legislative relief from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic:

“In the strongest possible terms, we urge Congress and the administration to reach agreement before the election on a relief package that will give travel employers—and the millions of livelihoods they support—a fighting chance to survive.

“We represent an industry that accounts for nearly 40% of all the U.S. jobs that have been lost to the coronavirus pandemic—an absolutely staggering figure. With travel spending in the U.S. projected to drop more than half a trillion dollars this year, travel employers—83% of which are classified as small businesses, including large numbers of our own franchisees—are struggling to keep their doors open. It is unknown when the health crisis will allow the situation to improve on its own.

“Major portions of the travel industry have been unable to access any of the previous rounds of coronavirus-related aid passed by Washington—and for those that have had some relief, it has not been equal to the magnitude of the challenge.

“With each moment that passes without another relief package, more travel businesses are at greater risk of closing their doors forever, with those jobs unable to be restored.

“Comprehensive assistance measures are badly needed, but at a bare minimum there is extreme urgency for a smaller package focusing on enhancements to the Paycheck Protection Program—especially a second draw on funds for eligible businesses.

“If there were ever a moment when American businesses and workers need leadership that transcends politics, it is now. We respectfully request that political leaders engage in a continuous dialogue for however long it takes to achieve action. Failure to do so will almost certainly delay a recovery for years.”

Geoff Ballotti, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc.

Ed Bastian, Chief Executive Officer, Delta Air Lines

Roger Dow, President and CEO, U.S. Travel Association

Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue

Mark Hoplamazian, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Jerry Jacobs Jr., Co-Chief Executive Officer, Delaware North

George Kalogridis, President of Segment Development and Enrichment, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and CEO, Expedia Group

Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer, United Airlines

David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer, Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, Americas, IHG

Sean Menke, President and CEO, Sabre Corporation

Heather McCrory, CEO North and Central America, Accor

Christopher Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilton

Patrick Pacious, President and Chief Executive Officer, Choice Hotels International

Jim Risoleo, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Host Hotels & Resorts

Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International

Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels & Co