• U.S. Travel Declares “Great Travel Depression”

     
    POSTED June 2, 2020
     

The U.S. Travel Association has called the current moment the “Great Travel Depression,” in light of the economic effects resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Research by Tourism Economics, published by the association, backs up the framing, especially in comparison to other catastrophic events in U.S. history.  

In the year following 9/11 travel spending declined by $57 billion. This year, travel spending is expected to decline by $519 billion – nearly 9 times the loss following the Sept. 11 attacks. 

Through the end of April, 38 percent of all unemployed workers were within the travel industry, according to U.S. Travel. And from the start of the pandemic to May 19, more than half of the country's 15.8 million travel-related jobs were lost.  

As stated on U.S. Travel’s website, “while the economy is in the midst of a recession, the travel industry is in a depression.” 

As the country slowly begins to reopen, state by state, the “Great Travel Depression” should ease, though experts say it must be done safely. Guidelines have been created in preparation for what comes next, including “Travel in the New Normal” by U.S. Travel Association, and the “Stay Safe” initiative by the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). Adhering to guidelines laid out by such groups, as well as state and national orders, should ensure maximum safety while the economy opens once again.  

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to lauren.pahmeier@tigeroak.com.

Raul Moronta was recently named the chief commercial officer for Remington Hotels

1. What are you looking forward to most in your new role?

 

In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.

 

Seven years ago, I moved to The Woodlands from out of state to be closer to family. What I was hoping to find was a familial connection that had been missing ever since I moved away from Indiana, where I was born and raised. What I found, however, was so much more: An eclectic, diverse and welcoming community that I am so proud to call home. I also found a wonderful destination for meetings and events.