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14 Jul 2021
IAAPA joins calls to ease border entry restrictions in the US and to revive tourism sector
By Tom Walker
IAAPA joins calls to ease border entry restrictions in the US and to revive tourism sector
The attractions segment of the travel and tourism industry generated US$51.6bn in direct annual impact prior to the pandemic
Photo: Shutterstock/Hayk_Shalunts
IAAPA has joined a range of US travel and tourism trade organisations in calling for the lifting of border entry restrictions and to help revive the visitor flow into the country.

The visitor attractions industry body is one of 24 trade organisations which are backing a set of recommendations and guidelines – called A Framework to Safely Lift Entry Restrictions and Restart International Travel – designed to stimulate international leisure and business travel.

Among the guidelines the organisations want to see implemented include US entry restrictions reserved for only the highest-risk countries, and the replacing of all other blanket travel restrictions with a framework of risk-based entry protocols.

• To read the A Framework to Safely Lift Entry Restrictions and Restart International Travel document and its guidelines, click here.

The decline in travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the US tourism economy, with estimates placing the loss in travel spending at US$500bn – resulting in a US$1.1trillion loss in economic output.

Prior to the pandemic, direct travel jobs accounted for 6 per cent of the US workforce and total travel-supported jobs accounted for 11 per cent.

According to figures presented by the 24 trade organisations, the pandemic resulted in more than a third (35 per cent) of direct travel jobs being lost during 2020.

John Hallenbeck, vice president and executive director, IAAPA North America, said: "We support 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 US.

"The attractions segment of the travel and tourism industry generated $51.6bn in direct annual impact prior to the pandemic. The industry experienced a $23bn decline during the 13-month period following mandated closures.

"Those closures resulted in a 41 per cent decline in employment nationwide from a 2019 high of 275,700.

"This was the lowest level of employment in the industry since 1990."

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