The travel industry demanded change last week.
It started with the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) sending a letter to the White House asking that vaccinated U.S. citizens returning to the U.S. from abroad be exempt from the required COVID-19 pre-flight testing.
That was followed by the U.S. Travel Association, Airlines for America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, International Air Transport Association, Aerospace Industries Association and other groups sending a letter to the White House requesting the same thing.
Now the question is, when will the change occur?
ASTA wrote that the inbound testing order is the “single biggest barrier to the full recovery of the international travel system.”
The travel industry desperately needs this rule changed. In doing so, Americans will feel more comfortable about traveling abroad again, and the rest of the world will consider visiting the United States again.
This will lead to more jobs too, as it was noted last week that two-thirds of all jobs lost in the United States were travel industry jobs.
Unfortunately, given how things have been handled over the last two years and the continued re-enforcements of various mandates, I don’t see the inbound testing rule changing anytime soon.
As COVID-19 cases continue to decline, I certainly hope that change is on the horizon. However, we know the federal mask mandate on transportation doesn’t expire until March, so my guess is the inbound testing rule remains as is until at least the spring.
An additional change the U.S. Travel Association is pushing for is “targeted, temporary tax credits and deductions to stimulate spending on business travel, live entertainment and in-person events.”
The idea of a travel tax credit has been mentioned numerous times since 2020. I’d love to see it, as well as the removal of the inbound testing rule, but I won’t be holding my breath.
When do you think the travel industry will get its wish for change?
Let me know on Twitter and Instagram: @EricBowman_
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