The US Travel Association continues to call on the government to eliminate pre-departure testing for travelers to the United States.
The association backs its claim with strong data that shows how this testing requirement is deterring travelers and preventing the travel industry from recovering.
The survey, conducted by Morning Consult, interviewed vaccinated international travelers in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Japan and India.
Nearly half of respondents (47%) who are unlikely to travel abroad in the next 12 months cited pre-departure testing requirements as the reason they would not travel to the United States
More than half of international travelers (54%) said the added uncertainty of potentially having to cancel a trip due to US pre-departure testing requirements would have a big impact on their likelihood of visiting the US.
Additionally, a large majority of adults surveyed (71%) agreed that they prioritize travel to destinations without burdensome entry requirements, including 29% who strongly agreed.
There’s still time, according to the US Travel Association, to save the summer travel season.
The survey found that forty-six percent of international travelers would be more likely to visit the United States if pre-departure testing requirements for vaccinated adults were lifted.
Even at this point in the summer travel planning season, an increase of just 20% more visitors this summer than we would otherwise expect would mean half a million more visitors each month and 2 billion dollars in valuable travel exports to the United States. This spending could support about 40,000 jobs in the United States.
“Before the pandemic, travel was the second-largest export in American industry and generated a positive trade balance of $53 billion,” said US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “Inbound travel is key to reducing the overall trade deficit, but the pre-departure testing requirement remains an unnecessary barrier to winning back visitors and competing for global tourism dollars.
“While other countries with similar cases, vaccination and hospitalization rates have removed their testing requirements and begun to rebuild their travel economies, the United States is at a competitive disadvantage and risks a extended recovery period,” Dow added.
The US Travel Association pointed out that there are an abundance of health and safety tools in place and that almost every other sector of the US economy, including domestic air travel, operates without a federal testing requirement.
More than 260 travel and business organizations called on the Biden administration to eliminate the testing requirement last week.