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Press Release

Rep. Castor’s Bipartisan Measure to Take Aim at the Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Travel, Tourism Jobs Passes House

Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s (FL14) bipartisan measure to study the impacts of COVID-19 on the bedrock tourism, travel and hospitality industries and provide immediate and long-term assistance for industry workers and small businesses passed the House of Representatives by voice vote as part of H.R. 8121 – Pandemic Effects on Home Safety and Tourism Act.

“The bedrock tourism, travel and hospitality industries here in Tampa Bay and our neighbors who rely on those jobs need help from the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the House has passed my bipartisan legislation to help alleviate the burden on our local workers and small businesses, and gauge the true impact of this crisis on our economy.

“By directing the Department of Commerce to study the long term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, we can create a plan to help these industries and workers bounce back and avoid the worst impacts in future emergencies. This comprehensive study will help us get the data we need for near-term action to serve those in the hard-hit tourism, travel and hospitality industries. And, in the long run, this study will help us understand the impact the pandemic has wreaked on travel, tourism and hospitality for future planning.

“We must continue to put workers, families and small businesses first as we respond to the pandemic. The wellbeing of so many of our neighbors is in danger and I’m grateful that we can come together in a bipartisan manner to develop an action plan and respond to the pain and concerns of so many. Thank you to my colleague Rep. Fred Upton for being my partner in this legislation. I anticipate the Senate passing its companion bill later this week, and urge the president to sign it into law right away.”

Castor’s bill, the Protecting Tourism in the United States Act, which was passed as part of H.R. 8121 today directs the Department of Commerce to complete a study on the effects of the COVID–19 pandemic on the travel and tourism industry, including various segments - domestic, international, leisure, business, conventions, meetings, and events. The Act also directs the Department of Commerce to complete an interim study to get data for action soon after the bill is enacted.