IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, is continuing to urge US Congress to support the attractions industry following the COVID-19 crisis.
IAAPA is pleased to announce that it is working to gain aid and support for the attractions industry, hard hit by the pandemic, and has once again written to Congress on behalf of its members. The letter asks Congress to consider the challenges that the industry faces, ahead of the next phase of COVID-19 legislation.
The association estimates that the pandemic will lead to $23 billion worth of economic losses in the US this year, as attractions have been forced to close and to make staffing adjustments. Many will not reopen in 2020 and over 235,000 jobs have been lost.
“As our industry looks to reopen, locations are doing so at a substantially reduced capacity and with additional costs due to new COVID-19 safety protocols,” says Hal McEvoy, president and CEO, IAAPA.
“This has been devastating for our industry, particularly for seasonal businesses. These businesses rely on making enough revenue during the few short summer months they are open to maintain employment year-round. In addition, year-round businesses that experience peak attendance from spring break through the summer months have been substantially hurt by the pandemic.
“The health and safety of our guests and employees has always been our number one priority. We are proud of the work our members are doing to develop new protocols and procedures in the wake of COVID-19.
“However, this is difficult to do as research and guidance from health and government authorities rapidly changes. It is essential that the businesses that are acting responsibly, and developing safety practices to protect guests and workers, are provided liability protection from COVID-19-related illnesses, and without fear of being penalized.”
Proposals to help the attractions industry
In this latest letter, IAAPA has asked Congress to consider small business administration loans, liability protection, tax credits, a federal backstop for pandemic risk insurance, animal care financial assistance, and support for severely impacted businesses.
These measures will help attractions to survive the challenges posed by the current situation and to protect both guests and workers.
Earlier this week, IAAPA also shared health and safety guidance for attractions that are reopening. This has been developed in partnership with attractions industry leaders from across the globe, as well as medical professionals, taking into account the advice from government agencies.