Coronavirus Relief and Recovery
In the midst of a worldwide economic shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic that forced nearly everyone to stay at home and for businesses of every nature and size to close, Travel Tech worked with members of Congress, the White House, and the departments of Treasury, Commerce, and Transportation to ensure our member companies were included in any discussion regarding relief for the travel and tourism industry. We are grateful that Congress came together to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and ensured that “ticket agents” were eligible for critical loans. Travel Tech continues to work with Congress and the Administration to make certain our priorities are considered and included in future coronavirus relief packages as our nation begins the long journey back to recovery.
Travel Tech’s recommendations for economic relief and recovery include:
Create a temporary travel tax credit to encourage near-term business and leisure travel spending. Travelers would receive a tax credit of up to 50 percent of qualified travel expenses incurred in the U.S. up to a maximum of $4,000 per household.
Provide targeted safe harbor for businesses that follow proper health and safety guidelines to protect against the coronavirus. Consumer-facing businesses should be able to rely on the safety guidelines and reopening parameters issued by experts without the threat of liability for implementing that guidance.
Provide pandemic risk insurance to mandate that businesses who could demonstrate significant business interruption and sharp decline in present and future revenue would be insured in case of a possible pandemic or epidemic.
Our member companies are the independent entities that market, distribute, and support the services of all travel suppliers, and we are ready to assist and inspire travelers once again.
President Trump issued an Executive Order in May that aims to further weaken the protections provided to online platforms under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). Although aimed at social media, the activity of all internet platforms and services are seriously threatened if the Administration’s directive is not challenged by either Congress or in court. Section 230 has been enormously important to the growth of the internet by providing legal certainty to an ever-expanding world of internet services, including not just social media, but blogs, consumer review sites, search engines, and in the case of our members, travel and accommodations intermediaries and platforms. Travel Tech continues to work with industry allies and members of Congress to ensure this important legal standard is preserved for the benefit of all users of the internet.