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Foreign visitors ‘critical to survival’ of US hospitality industry

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Lindsey Knewstub

The U.S. will start easing travel restrictions for international visitors who are vaccinated against Covid-19 in November. The following Cornell University experts weigh in on how the loosened restrictions will impact to the tourism industry in the U.S. as well as what foreign travelers may encounter upon arrival.

Chekitan Dev

Professor of Marketing and Branding

Chekitan Dev, professor of marketing and management at Cornell’s Hotel School, is an expert in the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries.

“International visitors are critical to the survival of the U.S. hospitality, travel and tourism industry. Research shows that international visitors typically spend more and stay longer than domestic travelers. In addition, many overseas travelers become ambassadors for 'Brand USA' encouraging others to visit. The new rules permitting vaccinated travelers to enter the U.S. is a much-needed lifeline for revival of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry.”

Ian Greer

Senior Research Associate at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Ian Greer, senior research associate at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, is an expert on marketization, mainly concerning labor and welfare services in Europe.

“Travellers from Europe might be surprised by the difficulty they have getting served in the U.S. Many owners of cafes, bars, restaurants, and hotels will point out that they’re having difficulty hiring and say that there is a labor shortage, and in fact there are about three million fewer people in the U.S. workforce now than before the pandemic.

“But behind the so-called labor shortage are features of American life that prevent people from going back to work, such as poor transportation infrastructure, low-quality jobs, difficulty accessing childcare and healthcare, inadequate investment in skills, and 680,000 COVID deaths (and counting).

“Beyond this, unemployment was allowed to increase to a much higher level in the U.S. than in most European countries, leading to the trauma of job loss for millions of workers. In these circumstances it would be surprising if reopening workplaces went smoothly.”

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