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2020 Election: Reactions from the Travel Industry

As we’ve reported earlier, this year’s election will have a significant impact on travel – from how fast we can be out there, to how we move, and even where we can go. With the industry already badly affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we wanted to find out from top travel experts how they anticipate how the election results – which are not yet finalized at the time of publication – will affect their company and the state of travel as Whole. Most named the pandemic as the biggest problem, regardless of who the next US president is. Others see an isolated future for American travelers if President Trump is re-elected. Here are a few selected responses from travel insiders spread from Australia to California.

Phil Francis, Chairman of the Coalition for the Protection of American National Parks

Our national parks and public areas are meant to please all Americans, and they will always need lawyers regardless of the election results. As a non-partisan organization, we will continue to fight to protect our national parks and public areas, regardless of which political party is in power.

We need to take action to stop climate change, better protect our environment, stop the sale of oil and gas leases on the doorstep of our national parks, and ensure that our national parks are protected for future generations to enjoy. And we need adequate funding to fulfill the National Park Service’s mission and to fully fund the basic operations of our national parks.

While we continue to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also ensure that our NPS staff, volunteers, concessionaires, visitors, and members of gateway communities stay safe. Regardless of who wins this election, we recommend travelers to be careful about visiting parks for the moment. And we urge them to support policies and measures that will protect our national parks and public areas for years to come.

Jesse Neugarten, CEO and Founder of the Dollar Flight Club

The travel industry in particular will benefit once the elections are over (no matter who wins), as the focus is back on helping airlines get back on their feet, getting the virus under control, and putting national policies in place to fix it enable people to travel safely, both internationally and nationally. We are confident that Biden will enable people to travel and demand a national mandate for wearing masks in public, as well as helping airlines and hotels remain solvent. I believe a Biden presidency will serve the travel industry better than Trump as he is apparently more interested in dealing with the virus first so that we can open travel across the country and internationally sooner but safely.

Cheraé Robinson, Founder and CEO of Tastemakers Africa

America is as divided as ever, and our election shows us that there is still much work to be done to weave a coherent American fabric. As a person who runs a company that primarily caters to black travelers, I expect our community to get involved in travel as the restrictions are lifted more than ever. If Biden wins – as I hope he does – he will likely face a Senate Republican majority to grasp on their heels and prevent the Biden-Harris administration from making the kind of changes that black voters and, quite frankly, the vast majority make up for urban Americans. The fact that the race is as close as it is also confirms that there are many people out there who really believe in Trump’s America.

Black travelers will try to relax, but also to explore their long-term options. I saw this just a few weeks ago in Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, where African Americans are moving in droves. These types of long-term travel, or even permanent moves, will continue no matter who wins, and extend beyond the Caribbean.

Tom Marchant, Co-Founder of Black Tomato

It is of course difficult to predict what the impact of travel will be in the immediate aftermath of this election, but a lot has changed for our audience in the last 18 months, creating an overall collective fatigue that was only compounded by COVID. We believe we will see an increased desire to take a significant break and put distance between travelers and a stressful, heated and vicious election cycle. Slower, more deliberate travel will now be even more desirable. And for us, we firmly believe that travel experiences, no matter where they are, have the power to change perspectives and unite, no matter how divided things may seem.

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