Senate Approves Amendment Pledging Support to Hospitality Industry
A bipartisan proposal geared toward assisting the travel and tourism industries passed a crucial first step with the U.S. Senate’s approval late this week. The measure, put forward by U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), prioritizes the devastated hospitality sector, as Congress works through President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package.
The amendment was passed as part of the Senate’s budget resolution, which marks an important step towards passing COVID-19 stimulus legislation, Cortez Masto’s office said. It is an assurance that the country’s top lawmakers will prioritize travel and tourism. The most practical measure of the legislation is that the amendment establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund to support hospitality, conventions, trade shows, entertainment, tourism, and travel and their workers.
“Our communities cannot afford to see these industries decimated, and I’m glad to have passed this bipartisan amendment to expand support for our struggling hospitality sector and provide relief for the workers in the industries hardest hit by this pandemic,” said Cortes Masto in a statement.
The senator’s home state of Nevada, and in particular, Las Vegas, has struggled mightily since the coronavirus gripped the nation last March. Several events scheduled for Las Vegas were canceled or moved elsewhere in 2020, forcing hotel closures and employee layoffs and furloughs.
While a handful of events are going on as scheduled, the pandemic has pushed a lot of hotels and event companies to the brink. Many are hoping to stay afloat long enough for vaccine distributions to not only inoculate the general public from the virus, but also the related fear of travel.
Caesars, for instance, is scheduled to host MPI’s World Education Congress in mid-June. A few weeks earlier at Red Rock Casino Resort and Spa, in May, Connect also is scheduled to host a large industry show.
These events, among some others scheduled in the first half of 2021, represent the beginnings of business travel picking up.
Best guesses place the true rebound for events to begin in the fall before heating up in the winter. Until then, the many industries reliant on out-of-town guests are in need of the type of financial support proposed in the stimulus package.
The Go Live Together coalition, an advocate for federal assistance for those industries, sent out a release praising Cortez Masto and the action. Cortez Masto “understands the economic impact” on the industry and “has championed legislation in support of our industry.”