Airport improvements, easier access to certain destinations, making aviation less destructive ecologically — and a railroad revolution.OK, the way we travel isn’t exactly the burning question that will decide the US election, but a second term of Donald Trump’s presidency or the first term of a Joe Biden administration might have radical differences in the industry’s development — not just in the United States, but globally, too.Trump, famously, is the only President to have owned an airline — Trump Shuttle. It connected Boston Logan, New York LaGuardia and Ronald Reagan airport in Washington, DC, from 1989 to 1992.Meanwhile, Biden has been a rail commuter for decades, and his much-noted bid to make the United States go greener could have implications for the aviation industry.Neither has focused on transportation during their campaign. In the middle of a pandemic, there are bigger things on which to concentrate. But with the travel industry decimated by Covid-19, the presidential response could determine whether the industry revives or is crushed beyond repair.And that goes beyond vacations.
Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy for the US Travel Association says: “One of the most important things about the travel industry is its huge impact on the economy,”
“It’s not quite as tangible as manufacturing, but any new or renewed administration needs to prioritize it, as it’s the hardest-hit industry. The travel industry has suffered almost 40% of job losses nationwide. Nearly four million travel jobs have been lost in the US since the pandemic, and if we don’t get a relief package by the end of December, we’ll lose another million. We need action quickly.”
So what are the two candidates offering, and how do industry figures believe each could change travel in the United States?