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Efforts Underway for Federal Relief, Stimulus and Protection for the Travel Economy

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The Ohio Travel Association (OTA) joined representatives from US Travel, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, Butler County Visitors Bureau, and Lake Erie Shores and Islands on Zoom conversations with members of Senator Rob Portman's (R-OH) office, as well as Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) this week regarding the devastating impact of the pandemic on the Ohio travel economy. OTA also spoke on a call with Sen. Sherrod Brown's (D-OH) office.

Ohio has lost more than $6.1 billion in traveler spending that supports businesses and jobs throughout the state. While the nation is in a recession, the travel economy is in a depression. More than half of all Ohio travel jobs have been lost since March. 

Travel can be an important tool for overall economic recovery. This we know based on research and past experience. It cannot happen if our businesses don't survive, or if those who can encourage travel, such as DMOs, don't have the funds to do their jobs. 

Among the asks at the federal level were the following:

  • Provide targeted liability for businesses that follow proper health and safety guidelines to protect against COVID-19
  • Create a temporary travel tax credit
  • Allow businesses to full deduct food and entertainment expenses
  • Provide tax breaks for purchase of personal protection equipment (PPE) and sterilization of facilities
  • Enhance tax measures to help revitalize U.S. trade shows and exhibitions
  • Provide $10 billion in Economic Development Administration grants for DMOs and small businesses to promote healthy travel practices, encourage visitation, and educate travelers on CDC and travel industry guidance
  • Extend eligibility of Payroll Protection Fund to destination marketing organizations of all statuses
  • Protect the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program which provides more than 3,400 necessary workers for Ohio businesses 


Yesterday, Senators Cruz (R-TX), Rubio (R-FL) and Scott (R-SC) introduced S. 3992, a bill to expand eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to DMOs of all statuses who have 300 or fewer employees. The bill's provisions match H.R. 6697, the "Local Chamber, Tourism, and 501(c)(6) Protection Act of 2020," introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last month. 

Your request matters the most as a constituent of elected officials. Please follow this link to submit an email requesting help for the travel economy. This action alert is simple and will only take a minute or two to complete. Thank you!

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