Coronavirus and Meetings
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As concerns and cancellations with respect to the coronavirus outbreak continue to mount, a group of 150 travel-related organizations issued a joint statement on March 10 urging informed, continued travel within the United States.
Industry associations, convention and visitors bureaus, and more banded together to advocate for facts, not fear and cited guidance from health and government officials that it remains safe for healthy Americans to travel domestically. Among the signatories were the U.S. Travel Association, Events Industry Council, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Airlines For America and Northstar Travel Group. The full statement reads as follows:
For the travel and hospitality industry, the safety of the traveling public, our guests and our employees is of the utmost importance. We are in daily contact with public health authorities and are acting on the most up-to-date information on the evolving coronavirus situation.
Health and government officials have continually assured the public that healthy Americans can "confidently travel in this country." While it’s critically important to remain vigilant and take useful precautions in times like these, it’s equally important to make calm, rational and fact-based decisions.
Though the headlines may be worrisome, experts continue to say the overall coronavirus risk in the U.S. remains low. At-risk groups are older individuals and those with underlying health conditions, who should take extra precautions.
The latest expert guidance indicates that for the overwhelming majority, it’s OK to live, work, play and travel in the U.S. By seeking and heeding the latest expert guidance — which includes vigorous use of good health practices, similar to the preventive steps recommended for the seasonal flu — America’s communities will stay strong and continue to thrive. The decision to cancel travel and events has a trickle-down effect that threatens to harm the U.S. economy, from locally owned hotels, restaurants, travel advisors and tour operators to the service and front-line employees who make up the backbone of the travel industry and the American economy.
We are mindful of a guiding principle that long predates this current public health situation: Without the safety and security of travelers, there can be no travel. The travel industry will maintain lines of contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and will remain vigilant for any changes. Collectively, we are taking enhanced steps to ensure the safety of travelers, guests and our own employees.