'Worse than the Great Depression’: Travel, tourism industry hit hard by pandemic

Travel-related unemployment at 51%

Drop in travel industry impacts San Antonio's economy
Drop in travel industry impacts San Antonio's economy

SAN ANTONIO – More than half of the 15.8 million travel-related jobs in the U.S. have disappeared during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

The organization said travel-related unemployment hit 51% since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“38% of all the unemployed in the United States are from the travel industry. This is two times worse than the Great Depression was in the worst year for the travel industry,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association.

Pants, bras are out, PJs in; travel industry layoffs begin

Dow said he estimates it will take six months for the industry to get back on its feet.

Patricia Stout, president of the Alamo Travel Group, said while there are great travel deals, business is down.

“The calls are about 20 per day. We used to have about 600 calls a day in our business,” Stout said.

Stout said sales are down 75%.

Visit San Antonio, the public-private partnership that promotes tourism and conventions in our city, said more than 50 conventions and meetings they were involved with have been canceled.

They are expecting to see a 30-40% loss on this year’s hotel occupancy tax — an impact of roughly $10 million.

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