WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fourteen CEOs of travel-related companies sent a letter to the president and congressional leaders on Monday urging a stepped-up federal role in making effective COVID-19 testing more widely available.
The letter stressed that a sustained recovery will depend on a comprehensive set of measures to provide relief, protection, and stimulus for U.S. employers, but said that COVID-19 testing should be incorporated in the next legislative package—specifically the TEST Act that has been introduced in the Senate.
“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,” the letter noted. “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.”
The letter was signed by: Heather McCrory of Accor North America, Inc.; 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 refers to a whitepaper produced by the U.S. Travel Association that details the industry’s findings with regard to the significance of testing, and why the TEST Act would help broaden the availability of testing.