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U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ March employment report, which found that 431,000 jobs were added overall, with 112,000 in the Leisure & Hospitality (L&H) sector: 

“Out of the 1.6 million jobs left to recover, a staggering 1.5 million are in Leisure & Hospitality alone, pointing directly to the sector’s uneven recovery and how swift federal policies are needed to restore the travel workforce,” said Barnes.

However, Barnes stated that even with the gains in employment, the Leisure and Hospitality sector experiences slow growth, especially with losses from the pandemic. Likewise, she said that “A lack of available workers, coupled with the slow return of business and international travel spending, is restricting Leisure & Hospitality’s recovery, even as other sectors of the economy regain—and in some cases, exceed—pre-pandemic levels.”

Dialogue becomes a necessary endeavor between the Leisure and Hospitality sector, the government, and other parties involved. As the U.S. Travel Association will hold Destination Capitol Hill on April 5-6, 2022, a yearly legislative fly-in, travel leaders will meet, talk, and discuss to policymakers and attendees the value and strength of the Leisure and Hospitality sector.

Furthermore, critical policies advocated by the U.S. Travel Association are also discussion points for the annual event. Some of the advocacies and policies include the following:

  • Rebuilding the workforce
  • Reigniting business meetings and events
  • Restoring international inbound travel
  • Reimagining tourism and travel’s role in global competitiveness improvement

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