Dave Hilfman’s Monday Memo to GBTA Members

While the 2020 election is not yet final, it appears that former Vice President Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States. President-elect Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, will become Vice President and she will make some very important history:


Ms. Harris is the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian elected to the vice presidency of our country.


No matter your political beliefs and your vote in what was a fiercely contested election, I hope that as members of GBTA we can agree to work together with the new administration and  Congress to repair the business travel industry. Given our industry’s important role as a foundation of the global economy, we need our political leadership on both sides of the aisle to help us find the safest, most timely and most direct path to recovery from the havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic.


How challenging is  the situation our industry finds itself in right now?


The World and Travel Tourism Council estimates that the travel sector has already suffered more than 200 million job losses while international gross domestic product has fallen by as much as $5.5 trillion. These losses would have been far less but for the initial round of CARES Act funding passed by Congress and President Trump. For months now, GBTA has been calling on leaders in Washington to enact a second round of economic relief for our industry. We will continue to urge such action, now and when Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris assume office on January 20, 2021.


Put simply, economic relief is a must for our industry to survive, as are international talks and agreement on fast, accurate COVID testing and uniform open border restrictions that remove the need for quarantining upon arrival.


On a very much related note, our Ready. Safe. Travel. unity campaign launched last week and it’s off to a strong start. Our goal is to have the industry speak as one voice and tell our story to elected leaders, the general public and our colleagues in meaningful ways. If you want to get involved, download our toolkit online and send an email to Congress today.


Have a great week.