Travel CEOs Want Federal Action on COVID-19 Testing

Leaders of top travel companies are asking the federal government for more and better COVID-19 testing, saying that it’s the key to reopening.

CEOs from 14 companies sent a letter urging a stepped-up federal role in making effective testing more widely available and also asked for faster response times between 24 and 48 hours for results.

“The travel industry has aggressively gathered data on the coronavirus outbreak and its fallout in order to inform our exhaustive deliberations on best health practices, trends and attitudes among travel consumers, and the proper timing of a safe reopening of the American travel economy,” read the letter reads. “Analysis of the data leads to the conclusion that broader testing—in concert with other key factors such as a robust federal policy framework of relief and stimulus, rigorous health and safety standards adopted by travel-related businesses, and the universal embrace of good health practices (such as the wearing of masks) by the public—is an essential component of reopening and recovery.

“Testing enables reopening. Testing enables rehiring. Testing enables recovery,” the letter concludes. “The millions of jobs lost to this pandemic across all segments of the travel spectrum can only return if demand for our products and services rebounds. That demand from travelers is inextricably linked to the confidence that rapid and abundant testing will create.”

Signatories to the letter include David Kong of BWH Hotel Group; Pat Pacious of Choice Hotels International, Inc.; Chrissy Taylor of Enterprise Holdings, Inc.; Chris Nassetta of Hilton; Jim Risoleo of Host Hotels & Resorts; Mark Hoplamazian of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; George Markantonis of Las Vegas Sands Corporation; Elie Maalouf of InterContinental Hotels Group; Jonathan Tisch of Loews Hotels & Co; Arne Sorenson of Marriott International; Sean Menke of Sabre Corporation; Roger Dow of the U.S. Travel Association; and Geoff Ballotti of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

The letter was addressed to President Donald J. Trump, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

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