A nationwide US economic recovery from Covid will not be possible until emergency relief legislation for all segments of the travel industry is agreed. 

The warning was made by the US Travel Association as it revealed a “staggering” $360 billion – or $2 billion a day – has been drained from the overall US economy since March as a result of decreased travel demand due to the pandemic.

The devastation has wiped out half of all travel-related US jobs between the onset of the pandemic and May 1.

The sector previously provided employment for one in 10 Americans, according to the organisation.

US Travel is calling on Washington to pass a newly introduced relief bill, which includes the enhancement and expansion of a paycheck protection programme to provide “critical aid” to destination marketing organisations. 

Public affairs and policy executive vice president Tori Barnes said: “It’s clear that travel jobs – which were by far the hardest-hit of any sector – won’t recover on their own.

“The ‘skinny’ relief bill moving through the Senate has good components, and we’re urging Congress to recognise that substantial and immediate aid for travel employers is really vital for the entire US job market.

“Many travel employers were left out of earlier rounds of legislative relief, and Congress must work quickly to ensure these businesses can continue to operate and help power an economic recovery in every corner of America.”