Coalition of 150 Travel Organizations Issue Statement on Coronavirus

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—A coalition of 150 travel-related organizations, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), issued the following statement on the latest developments around coronavirus. According to a New York Times database, 802 people in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 and at least 27 of those have died.

“For the travel and hospitality industry, the safety of the traveling public, our guests and our employees is of the utmost importance. We are in daily contact with public health authorities and are acting on the most up-to-date information on the evolving coronavirus situation.

“Health and government officials have continually assured the public that healthy Americans can ‘confidently travel in this country.’ While it’s critically important to remain vigilant and take useful precautions in times like these, it’s equally important to make calm, rational, and fact-based decisions.

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“Though the headlines may be worrisome, experts continue to say the overall coronavirus risk in the U.S. remains low. At-risk groups are older individuals and those with underlying health conditions, who should take extra precautions.

“The latest expert guidance indicates that for the overwhelming majority, it’s OK to live, work, play, and travel in the U.S. By seeking and heeding the latest expert guidance—which includes vigorous use of good health practices, similar to the preventive steps recommended for the seasonal flu—America’s communities will stay strong and continue to thrive. The decision to cancel travel and events has a trickle-down effect that threatens to harm the U.S. economy, from locally-owned hotels, restaurants, travel advisors and tour operators to the service and frontline employees who make up the backbone of the travel industry and the American economy.

“We are mindful of a guiding principle that long predates this current public health situation: without the safety and security of travelers, there can be no travel. The travel industry will maintain lines of contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services and will remain vigilant for any changes. Collectively, we are taking enhanced steps to ensure both the safety of travelers, guests and our own employees.”

View the full list of signatories here.