U.S. Travel Association President/CEO Roger Dow delivered an assessment and vision for the U.S. travel industry at the association’s annual State of the Travel Industry address on Wednesday, delivered via webcast from the National Press Club.
Said Dow, “We should not singularly view the pandemic as a setback but as an opportunity to reimagine this industry to be stronger than before.”
Dow acknowledged short-term priorities that Congress and the Biden administration should act immediately upon to ensure an even recovery for all sectors of travel, while also mapping out a plan that looks beyond the pandemic to return the industry to growth and increase competitiveness for decades to come.
Tori Emerson Barnes, EVP, public affairs and policy, USTA, joined Dow and offered remarks on the future of a rapidly evolving travel industry. “While the road to full recovery may be longer than we would like, we are already looking far beyond the pandemic to a brighter, more globally competitive, sustainable, diverse and innovative future for the whole of the U.S. travel industry,” said Barnes.
USTA National Chair Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, also spoke during the address and praised Dow’s 17-year leadership at the association.
Dow and Barnes highlighted the five key areas of focus that will drive the association and the broader travel industry in the months and years ahead:
- Facilitation and security
- The future of travel mobility
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
“We have a robust policy agenda and a clear strategy to revive America’s travel industry, but Congress and the Biden administration must continue to work closely with the travel sector to help the industry bounce back quickly,” said Dow.
He also thanked U.S. Travel’s industry partners for their close collaboration throughout the pandemic, which strengthened and positioned the industry for future growth.
“There are a lot of great things ahead for travel and I know that together, this industry has the vision and determination to get it done,” Dow said.