IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, is one of 24 national travel and tourism trade organizations that have come together to provide the Biden administration a set of science-based recommendations and guidelines for safely lifting border entry restrictions to stimulate international leisure and business travel. The plan is entitled “A Framework to Safely Lift Entry Restrictions and Restart International Travel.”
IAAPA, representing more than 5,000 member organizations from more than 100 countries, strongly encourages the adoption of these guidelines as they are essential to America’s economic recovery and job growth.
“IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, supports the safe easing of border restrictions as a critical step in stimulating international leisure and business travel, an industry that supports 11 million jobs in the U.S.,” remarked John Hallenbeck, vice president and executive director, IAAPA North America.
Due to decline in travel due to COVID-19, there has been a $500 billion loss in travel spending that has cost the U.S. $1.1 trillion in economic output. Prior to the pandemic, direct travel jobs accounted for 6% of the workforce and total travel-supported jobs accounted for 11%. But in 2020, direct travel jobs accounted for a disproportionate 35% of jobs lost and total travel supported jobs accounted for a staggering 65%.
The attractions segment of the travel and tourism industry generated $51.6 billion in direct annual impact prior to the pandemic. The industry experienced a $23 billion decline during the 13-month period following mandated closures. Those closures resulted in a 41% decline in employment nationwide from a 2019 high of 275,700. This was the lowest level of employment in the industry since 1990.