We have all talked for many years about what cities might look like without visitors who help fuel our local economies and contribute to our ongoing quality of life, few of us never expected to experience this in real life. America’s travel industry lost more than $1.4 Trillion in U.S. Economic output in 2020. Bellevue lost more than $1 billion in economic impact due to the devastating and drastic downturn resulting from the Pandemic.
Travel and Tourism’s economic footprint in the United States shrank a staggering 42% in 2020. Locally, here in Bellevue due to our urban location, reliance on business travel and the States continued slow response to removing restrictions and mandates, it shrank by more than 77%. The employment devastation was similarly massive, travel industry jobs fell by 5.6 million in 2020, and unemployment among Bellevue travel industry jobs was nearly 70% at its worst and continues to be well over 30%. 65% of all American jobs lost during the economic fallout of the pandemic were in travel and tourism.
As we celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week and use the Power of Travel to return us to better days, we implore our leaders near and far to help our industry to recover so we can once again play a pivotal role in helping restore our local economy. The trickle-down effect of visitor spending has never been more needed for our small businesses that call Bellevue home. We can do this if we come together in the following ways:
How we can work together to bring Bellevue back:
- Provide targeted relief for travel industry businesses and organizations
- Advance future measures, plans, and developments to drive travel & hospitality industry demand
- Position Bellevue to welcome back Visitors including multicultural international travel
- Restore business travel, meetings, conventions, and events ASAP and pledge to keep this activity local