• 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.  

After almost 20 years of vacancy, the Cook County Hospital in Chicago will be put to use once again. A $150 million adaptive reuse project restored the historic, 106-year-old hospital, which has become a combined Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotel, as well as medical offices, a museum, a food hall and more. While the opening is multi-phased, the hotels are scheduled to open in late July.  

 

Doctors, nurses, grocery store employees and more were essential to sustaining the continued stay-at-home orders that helped fight the spread of COVID-19. Such workers put their health at risk for the benefit of society, and Nakoma Resort and the Lost Sierra Chamber of Commerce want to recognize them for their efforts through the “Send Your Heroes” campaign.   

 

Jumpstarting tourism in cities across the country will be more complicated than simply opening doors again – especially in cities with large populations like Chicago. However, working together proves more effective, and in Chicago, more than 250 businesses are banding together to join Choose Chicago’s new initiative, Tourism & Hospitality Forward. It bolsters a safe reopening that encourages tourism as well as meetings and events in