U.S. Travel: More Federal Support Needed as Enormity of 2020 Wreckage Becomes Clear

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Spending on U.S. business travel in 2020 totaled $103.2 billion, down 70 percent year over year, according to a new Tourism Economics analysis released Wednesday by the U.S. Travel Association. The devastation wreaked on the travel industry by the Covid-19 pandemic shows the continuing need for U.S. federal government aid to suppliers, according to the association.

Total U.S. travel spending in 2020, including inbound international travel, dipped 42 percent year over year to $680.3 billion, according to U.S. Travel, and 3 million jobs directly supported by the travel industry were lost last year, a 34 percent decline.

While the U.S. has ramped up Covid-19 vaccinations and several U.S. carriers have reported an uptick in leisure sales in March, “it is still unclear when travel demand will be able to fully rebound on its own,” said U.S. Travel president and CEO Roger Dow said in a statement. “With the travel industry suffering such a disproportionate share of losses, policymakers need to understand that a nationwide economic recovery effectively hinges on a travel recovery.”

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