WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND) Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), co-chairs of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo requesting information on actions the Department is taking to ensure the travel and tourism industry’s full economic recovery following the pandemic.

“Recent reports estimate that travel spending in the U.S. has declined by nearly $500 billion since 2019, with a loss of nearly one million travel-related jobs since last February,” the senators wrote. “Behind statistics like this are thousands of tourism workers and restaurants, hotels, small businesses, in the travel and tourism industry struggling to make ends meet. … We look forward to working with you to bolster the recovery of the travel and tourism industry.”

The Senators emphasized the travel and tourism industry has been hit especially hard by the pandemic, noting reports which found a nearly 80 percent decrease in international visitors since the pandemic began.

Senator Cramer, a former North Dakota Tourism Director, has remained committed to providing support for the travel and tourism industry throughout the pandemic. In July, Senators Cramer, Cortez Masto, Blunt, and Klobuchar introduced bipartisan legislation to provide economic support for organizations involved in promoting and hosting tourism, travel, or other special events. Earlier this year Senators Cramer and Cortez Masto introduced the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act, bipartisan legislation to provide comprehensive relief and recovery measures for the convention, trade show, entertainment, travel, and hospitality industries and their workers. The senators previously introduced this legislation in the 116th congress. 

Click here to read the letter.