WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Chair of the newly-formed Subcommittee on Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion, convened the Subcommittee’s inaugural hearing entitled, “The State of Travel and Tourism During COVID.” The hearing examined the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and tourism industry, focusing on hotels, conventions, and the broader hospitality industry. The hearing also reviewed the regional impacts of COVID on tourism-heavy economies and communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic’s economic downturn.
Witnesses, including Steve Hill, President, and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Jorge Perez, Regional Portfolio President of MGM Resorts International, Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), and Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association had the opportunity to provide their insights surrounding these critical issues, as well as discuss solutions for supporting and revitalizing the travel and tourism industry moving forward.
Video of the Senator’s opening remarks, and full questions and exchanges can be found here and here.
“Travel and tourism related industries drive job creation and economic growth in states across America, especially in Nevada, where these industries and the workers they employ are absolutely essential to our state’s prosperity,” said Senator Rosen in her introductory remarks. “This pandemic has hit Nevada particularly hard. It brought our travel and tourism-heavy economy to a screeching halt and decimated the jobs that those industries support. The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the worst economic downturn the tourism industry has ever experienced in my state of Nevada. Through PPP loans, the Employee Retention Tax Credit, direct aid to restaurants and live entertainment, and unemployment relief, Congress has worked to support tourism businesses and workers during this difficult period. But far more needs to be done, and now it’s time to bring this critical industry back to its thriving pre-pandemic economic status.”
“I intend to use this Subcommittee to find bipartisan pathways and solutions to do just that. We are going to get Americans and the world traveling again,” Senator Rosen continued. “Today’s inaugural hearing, titled “The State of Travel and Tourism During COVID,” will examine the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel and tourism industry, with a particular focus on hotels, conventions, and the broader hospitality industry. We will discuss regional impacts of the pandemic on tourism-heavy economies, like Nevada’s, and those communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19’s resulting economic downturn.”