The US Travel Association (USTA), which has campaigned relentlessly over recent months for the reopening of U.S. borders, believes that travel is a “coiled spring” ready to bounce back better than ever.
At the US Travel Association press conference on Tuesday, 21 September, president and CEO Roger Dow expressed confidence that travel would bounce back quicker than most economists anticipate.
He questioned the prediction that it would take until 2025 before the industry recovered to 2019 levels, and described travel demand as a “coiled spring” that will “come back faster and bigger than anyone expects.”
However, he acknowledged that the business travel sector, which declined by as much as 75% due to the pandemic, would take more time to recover.
According to statistics, each $1 spent on business travel generates $5.90 in revenue and $1.60 in profits, and that the recovery of the sector was instrumental in shortening the overall timeline.
Christine Duffy, national chairperson of USTA and president of Carnival Cruise Lines, said the pandemic had strengthened the ties between the various industry segments.
Tori Emerson Barnes, USTA’s Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy, bemoaned the historic lack of investment in travel infrastructure, but acknowledged that this would soon change.
She said the future was about a more dynamic and forward-looking industry with a strong commitment to sustainability.
Public and private partnerships would invest heavily in hyper loop, high-speed rail and – particularly – electric vehicles, which “is the only feasible way travel demand can increase sustainability,” she said.
Roger Dow also took the opportunity to thank the travel community after recently announcing that he would step down from the role he has held for 17 years.