After two Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) this week introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at providing much needed aid to the hospitality industry, both U.S. Travel Association and the American Society for Travel Advisors (ASTA) reacted positively to the news.
The bill, called the Hospitality and Commerce Job recovery Act of 2020, would provide recovery incentives for hospitality and trade shows, enhance the employee retention tax credit, and provide recovery incentives for middle class families that it hopes will jumpstart travel when safe, including a modest tax credit for travel expenses.
While the bill is far from the direct relief that travel and hospitality trade groups have been calling for since the CARES Act funding ran out earlier in the pandemic, and still needs to pass both bodies before becoming law, both U.S. Travel and ASTA applauded the effort on Thursday.
“The Leisure & Hospitality industry has suffered nearly 40% of all job losses nationwide, and a staggering 50% of all travel-supported jobs will be lost by the end of December if there is no federal intervention to provide aid. The bill’s targeted approach to providing tax incentives would ensure that these hard-hit businesses—including those in the meetings, events and entertainment segments—get the help they so desperately need to recover from this crisis,” U.S. Travel’s Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said.
“Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Sen. Kevin Cramer are to be commended for introducing this important piece of jobs legislation, and we urge policymakers to consider this bill or include its policy measures in a broader legislative relief package.”
ASTA, in its statement, said that it “strongly supports” the bill.
“It will provide immediate benefits to many of our members – which is welcome as many of the CARES Act relief programs have run dry – while stimulating the recovery of the travel industry, the health of which is central to the overall U.S. economy. We commend Senators Cortez Masto and Cramer for their comprehensive approach here, and stand ready to fight for its inclusion in the next COVID-19 relief bill,” Eben Peck, ASTA’s executive vice president of advocacy, said.