COVID-19’s impact on the travel industry

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – While many states are starting to relax restrictions surrounding COVID-19, some Americans still aren’t taking chances when it comes to traveling. 

The American Travel and Tourism Sector estimates a $519-billion loss in revenue for the traveling industry for the year 2020.

The plummeting revenue is an effect of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

“Oh man, it’s impacted us in every way possible,” said Sasha Nash, a Travel Agent with Cruise and Travel Masters

Transportation, lodging, recreation, retail, food services and jobs — everything associated with travel — has taken a big hit.

Nash says she didn’t think the fallout would be this bad.

“It hit really hard and we kept thinking this would be a two week thing, a three week thing, and now we’re two months in and we’re not really seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Centers for Disease Control has recommended people defer all cruise travel nationwide.

“The cruises in particular were in a lot of bad light that first little bit, so I think they have a really big hole to dig themselves out, but I think they’ll be able to do it,” explained Nash.

To combat the pandemic airlines have imposed new safety regulations, are using enhanced cleaning techniques, and reducing seat capacity to help with social distancing. 

“We still have some of our clients traveling domestically,” Nash said. “Airlines are not ever filling up the middle seats, and about 80-percent of craft carriers are down for now, so maybe about 20-percent are going.”

Despite uncertainty, Nash predicts things will get back up and running in the fall.

“In the travel industry we get hit every time there’s something like this. When SARS was a big think a couple years ago, when Zika first came out a couple of years ago, all of those things create a lot of fear. I think people need to remember that this isn’t the first time. We’ve gotten through it before and we’ll get through it again.”

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