Coronavirus Relief: What Each Travel Sector Is Requesting

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The latest stimulus package from the Republican-led Senate is estimated at $1.8 trillion. The Democratic counter-proposal from the House is set at $2.5 trillion. While the details are being ironed out, there is no shortage of industries looking for bailouts as business has come to a sudden and abrupt halt, with many not having the necessary cash flow to survive this pandemic for more than a few weeks. Furthermore, millions of workers across the nation are wondering how they will pay their bills without any income available to them for those working in 'non-essential' roles.

We take a look at multiple sectors of the hospitality industry, including hotels, airlines, cruises, travel advisors, restaurants and bars, and the travel industry itself.

All in, the hospitality and travel industry is requesting nearly $550 billion from its top lobbying arms from each sector and over nearly $850 billion if you include the general request from U.S. Travel. While the economic impact to each sector is much more from the coronavirus, it's highly probable each group will see significantly less than requested. Once the federal stimulus is passed, it will be a matter of each business applying for state and local relief as well. Please continue to be diligent on your request to your representatives at every level of the government. Your business, along with that of your colleagues and staff depends on it. 

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Comparing Top Hospitably Industries Relief Packages:

Hotels

Total Number Impacted: 1 in 25 American jobs or 8.3 million jobs

Lobbying Body: American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA)

GDP Contribution: $660 Billion

Total Funds Requested: $100 billion for the hospitality workforce and $50 billion in flexibility in lending

Other Request or Special Notes: Access to capital for hotel's payroll and mortgages. These loans should be zero-interest and unsecured as hotel owners may not qualify for small business loans and the process taking too long.

Cruises

Total Number Impacted: 421,000 U.S. jobs

Lobbying Body: Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA)

Total Funds Requested: CLIA has also said they are not looking for a direct bailout but rather to get ships back out to sea and to support its travel partners. Carnival CEO told Axios they are not looking for a financial bailout but are looking for loan guarantees as capital becomes harder to find. 

Other Request or Special Notes: Unclear at this time. The public backlash against ships will be the cruise lines biggest PR obstacle and the much reported on tax rate makes it hard for politicians to support.

Airlines

Total Number Impacted: 750,000 U.S. Jobs

Lobbying Body: Airlines for America (A4A)

Total Funds Requested: $58 billion; grants of $25 billion for passenger carriers and $4 billion for cargo. Loans for the same amount that are zero interest and unsecured. Tax relief in the form of a rebate of the 2020 excise tax paid to AATF for the 1st Quarter of the year and a federal tax repeal all the way to December of 2021 and possibly longer depending on economic triggers.

Other Request or Special Notes: They are looking for grants, loans, and tax relief that is outlined here. Airlines had reported spent much of their earnings in the past on stock buybacks, a big point of criticism for bailouts without strings attached to the airline industry.

Travel Advisors

Total Number Impacted: 148,000

Lobbying Body: American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA)

Total Funds Requested: $13.7 billion; $7.7 billion to compensate ticket agents and $6 billion in zero-interest, unsecured loans. 

Other Request or Special Notes: Self-employed individuals and independent contractors would also be covered under unemployment benefits for those who cannot work due to coronavirus.

Restaurants

Total Number Impacted: 16 million U.S. jobs

Lobbying Body: National Restaurant Association

Total Funds Requested: $325 billion with $125 billion for a recovery fund, $35 billion for a community development block grant, $100 billion for business interruption insurance, $45 billion in federal and conventional loans, along with $130 million in disaster unemployment assistance.

Other Request or Special Notes: Assistance with loan, lease, and mortgage deferments, tax breaks, tax credits for employee retention and a temporary payroll tax cut.

    Travel (General)

    Total Number Impacted: 9 million U.S. jobs

    Lobbying Body: U.S. Travel Association

    GDP Contribution: Nearly $1 trillion

    Total Funds Requested: $300 billion; $150 billion for grants to travel-dependent businesses to maintain employment, financial assistance with $150 billion in unsecured loans and loan guarantees and an additional $10 billion in airport grants.

    Other Measures Put in Place:

    • Establish a Travel Workforce Stabilization Fund
    • Provide an Emergency Liquidity Facility for travel businesses
    • Optimize and modify SBA loan programs to support small businesses and their employees.

    ASTA has created a template for travel advisors to send to the White House and Congress, asking for immediate action to provide relief to to the industry due to the coronavirus crisis.

    A version of this story originally appeared on www.barandrestaurantexpo.com.

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