IAAPA seeks aid from Congress for attractions industry

IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, has submitted a request to Congress for key changes to the CARES Act, on behalf of the attractions sector.

IAAPA has submitted a critical policy request to Congress to ensure that the attractions industry receives support as it deals with the coronavirus pandemic. This support is vital as the sector has over 700,000 employees in the US alone. It also supports several other related businesses such as hotels and restaurants, airlines, construction companies and more.

“The CARES Act is an important step in the right direction to help America successfully emerge from this global crisis,” says IAAPA President and CEO Hal McEvoy. “Now, work must be done quickly to ensure critical changes and additional support are earmarked to ensure attractions industry needs are met.

“Parks and attractions remain closed and thousands of employees are either unemployed or indefinitely furloughed. With the start of the traditional summer season growing closer, these businesses need support now to ensure they can reopen when the time is right and continue to support the economies in the communities in which they are located.”

Additional steps to support the industry

IAAPA is lobbying Congress to ensure more support for the attractions industry is included in future COVID-19-related legislation.

For example, it has requested changes to the Small Business Administration Loans scheme, including the expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program waiver, changes to the definition of “employee” and increased loan forgiveness flexibility.

IAAPA has also stated that amusement parks and attractions which are severely affected should be included in the Emergency Stabilisation Fund and that this need to be put in place quickly. In addition to this, it has asked for the timely creation of a fund for mid-sized businesses and for employee retention requirements to focus on permanent year-round members of staff.

The association is calling for additional relief for attractions that may have their operations hampered by social distancing measures once the pandemic is over. It has also requested an increase of $500 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as COVID-19 liability protection for those attractions that have followed best practice to protect staff and the public during the crisis. More information about these requests can be found here.

“Congress must move swiftly to make these changes and pass supplement funding,” says McEvoy. “Attractions industry and travel-related businesses play a critical role in the U.S. economy and will be important in helping the country recover from this crisis. Until that time, their health and future lie in the hands of Congress.”

McEvoy previously wrote to all US Senators on behalf of IAAPA in order to request that the attractions industry is part of the COVID-19 relief legislation.