China’s embassy in dc.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow”>Washington, D.C. recently published the alert to its website, stating that “public security in the United States is not good.”
“Cases of shootings, robberies, and theft are frequent,” the notice added. “Travelers in the United States should be alert to their surroundings and suspicious individuals, and avoid going out alone at night.”
The embassy also warned of expensive medical bills, the threat of natural disasters, telecommunications fraud and warrantless searches and seizures by customs agents.
MORE Impacting Travel
However, the timing of the alert is somewhat suspicious given that the Trump administration is set to impose tariffs on Chinese goods Friday and China has threatened to retaliate with tariffs of its own, Reuters reported.
Nonetheless, China’s Foreign Ministry maintains that it’s obligated to keep Chinese nationals informed of potential risks ahead of the high season.
“This kind of reminder from the Chinese embassy in the relevant country, I think this is absolutely a matter that is in the scope of our duty,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said during a news briefing Tuesday.
China is among the U.S.’ top inbound visitation markets, accounting for nearly 8 percent of the destination’s international visitors in 2016, according to the U.S. Travel Association. What’s more, Chinese travelers spend, on average—$6,900 per trip to the U.S.—more than those visitors from any other major inbound market.
Comments & Discussion
Travel Industry Lauds Passage of Paycheck Protection Program Reform Bill
The U.S. Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act on Wednesday, sending it to President Donald Trump’s desk for final approval.
The reform bill provides business owners with additional flexibility and more time to utilize loan money and still be forgiven under the PPP established to provide economic relief in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The travel industry has been quick to commend lawmakers. The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is in full support having advocated for the improvements behind the scenes.
“We commend the Senate for passing the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010), which would change PPP loan terms—in some cases retroactively—in a number of ways ASTA has advocated for, including five-year loan terms, reducing the requirement that 75 percent of the loan must go to payroll to get forgiveness, allowing forgivable expense over 24 weeks (as opposed to the current eight) and allowing companies to restore headcount without jeopardizing forgiveness by the end of the year (versus the current June 30),” Eben Peck, EVP Advocacy, ASTA, said in a statement.
“While the PPP will remain complex, this bill gives more flexibility to PPP recipients and increases the chances that loans can be fully forgiven,” Peck concluded.
The U.S. Travel Association also wasted no time praising the decision, calling it an “important step.”
“The PPP changes passed by both chambers are another important step in providing relief to small businesses that otherwise will not survive until the economic recovery phase,” added U.S. Travel’s Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes. “The modification to the portion of funds that can be used for non-payroll expenses is especially crucial to travel-related small businesses, which have comparatively high capital overhead but virtually zero incoming revenue because of the necessary measures in place to stem the spread of the pandemic.”
U.S. Travel still believes that there’s more work to be done to ensure a successful recovery. The organization is encouraging officials to extend PPP eligibility to non-profit and quasi-governmental entities responsible for driving local and regional economic development.
“Like the businesses they serve, the finances of these non-profits have been devastated by the standstill in travel and tourism, and the moment of recovery will be moot unless they can keep their lights on to take advantage of the return in travel demand,” Barnes stated. “We urge leaders to move urgently to enact the next phase of coronavirus response legislation, which is absolutely vital to the future of the travel and tourism industry, and to prioritize expanding eligibility to those most hard hit by this pandemic such as destination marketing organizations.”
Comments & Discussion