March 18, 2020

Nevada Congressional Delegation Calls on Congress to Provide Relief for Nevada’s Tourism Industry and Workers Affected by Coronavirus Closures

Washington, D.C. – As Nevada’s workforce braces for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) – along with U.S. Representatives Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), Mark Amodei (R-Nev.-02), Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04), and Susie Lee (D-Nev.-03) – urged leaders in Congress to provide financial support to the gaming, hospitality, travel, and outdoor recreation industries and the workers they employ.

“We are very proud that Nevada’s tourism businesses’ top priority is ensuring that visitors and community members feel safe. Many of them have taken unprecedented action to voluntarily close their doors, losing out in millions in revenue in gaming, hotel stays, airline and other travel, restaurants, live entertainment, and sporting events. As a result of this action, workers face mounting financial, physical and emotional distress including reduced hours, layoffs, social distancing, and quarantines,” wrote the members of Congress.

They continued, “Congress needs to work together in a bipartisan way to ease the economic uncertainty for both working families and businesses. As the coronavirus pandemic has intensified in the United States over the past week, we are calling on our colleagues to work together to combat the potential decline in travel to the United States. We need to be looking out for everybody: our small businesses, Nevada’s vital gaming, tourism and outdoor recreation industries, and most importantly, our workers, especially those in the hospitality industry, who are the lifeblood of the Silver State. We need to work together to assuage the concerns of so many Americans whose livelihood depends on travel and tourism and who take pride and rely on the positive image of our nation, both at home and abroad.”

Full text of the letter can be found here and below:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader of the United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader of the United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader of the House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressional Leadership:

As Congress works to address this public health crisis, the coronavirus pandemic, we are asking that any legislation to address the economic impact of this crisis also provide relief for our travel and tourism industries, and workers who have been disproportionately and immediately impacted.

We are very proud that Nevada’s tourism businesses’ top priority is ensuring that visitors and community members feel safe. Many of them have taken unprecedented action to voluntarily close their doors, losing out in millions in revenue in gaming, hotel stays, airline and other travel, restaurants, live entertainment, and sporting events. As a result of this action, workers face mounting financial, physical and emotional distress including reduced hours, layoffs, social distancing, and quarantines.

Travel and tourism drive our economy, fueling one in every nine American jobs. According to the U.S. Travel Association, traveler spending in the United States generated $2.6 trillion in economic output in 2019 and supported 15.8 million jobs. Nevada’s economy, like many tourism destinations, relies heavily on a steady stream of conventions and large group gatherings that bring participants from all around the globe crosscutting many industries. According to the recent press reports and tourism organizations, the potential decline in our tourism sector would deeply cost our economy, raising serious concerns for states like Nevada where the tourism industry adds $19 billion to the state’s gross domestic product and supports more than 450,000 jobs. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, in 2018 alone, the city hosted more than 5.8 million international visitors; the tourism industry is a critical component to Nevada’s economy, and a stable industry is imperative to our state’s success. Furthermore, Nevada's hospitality industry accounts for nearly 40 percent of the state’s general fund, and a dramatic decline in those revenues could have devastating impacts on important services for working families in our state.

In 2019, resident and international travelers spent an average of $3.1 billion a day in the United States, and the travel and tourism industry generated $59 billion in trade surplus for the economy. It is in the country’s best interest to ensure that our travel and tourism industry is able to recover quickly and is stable and strong for years to come. We ask that any legislative package include broader economic measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to mitigate the short and long term impacts to our nation’s tourism industry.

Congress needs to work together in a bipartisan way to ease the economic uncertainty for both working families and businesses. As the coronavirus pandemic has intensified in the United States over the past week, we are calling on our colleagues to work together to combat the potential decline in travel to the United States. We need to be looking out for everybody: our small businesses, Nevada’s vital gaming, tourism and outdoor recreation industries, and most importantly, our workers, especially those in the hospitality industry, who are the lifeblood of the Silver State. We need to work together to assuage the concerns of so many Americans whose livelihood depends on travel and tourism and who take pride and rely on the positive image of our nation, both at home and abroad.

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