Hope springs eternal in the hearts of travel PR people who believe they soon will be busy pitching destinations to crazed Americans eager to travel far and wide from their quarantined homes.
Not so fast, says the International Air Transport Assn. It announced on July 28 that global passenger traffic won’t return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2024, a year later than was previously projected.
The IATA points to America’s failure to contain COVID-19 vis-à-vis other developed countries among reasons for pushing back the travel recovery time.
It also projects reduced corporate travel due to stressed economies and the unlinking of GDP growth and business travel “as video conferencing appears to have made significant inroads as a substitute for in-person meetings.” Zoom is the arch-enemy of travel people.
The IATA also takes issue with travel PR’s belief in pent-up demand.
While there is demand for leisure travel and visiting friends/relatives, IATA believes worries about job security, rising unemployment rates and fears of catching COVID-19 will keep most people hunkered down at home.
See you next July… Alphabet CEO Sundar Pandar dealt a blow to those who are itching to reopen the economy with his decision to allow Google’s 200,000 full-time workers and contractors to work at home through next July.
Google originally planned to have workers back into their offices by January.
Pander made the move because many Googlers don’t believe schools are going to open their doors anytime soon, no matter what the president says, and will have to home school the kids.
That point is well taken in the aftermath of the July 27 news that 14 members of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins team and support staff tested positive for COVID-19.
As the New York Times points out: “If baseball, a $10B industry operating in a controlled environment and employing frequent testing cannot prevent infections, then how are schools, restaurants and other retail businesses going to do so?
Pandar made the right call. Other tech companies are bound to follow his lead.
Looking out for No. 1… Many Republicans are upset about spending more money to help Americans survive the country’s economic collapse. But they did tuck $1.75B into their COVID-19 relief bill for a new FBI headquarters at its current Pennsylvania Ave. location.
Officials in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations had suggested building a more secure and much cheaper campus for the FBI in the Maryland or Virginia suburbs. That move also would have returned the Pennsylvania Ave. site to the DC tax rolls.
The president, though, has demanded the FBI stay put because the grifter-in-chief’s Trump International Hotel is located across the street. Trump fears competition from a new hotel would hurt the family business.
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi were surprised but hardly shocked to see the $1.75B FBI money buried in the COVID-19 bill. They’ve been dealing with the shenanigans of the president for almost four years.
Republican Senator Richard Shelby, who chairs the Appropriations Committee, conceded it was a “stretch” to include the FBI building in a pandemic bill.
Shelby should know better. There’s never a stretch for Trump when it comes to taking care of his personal business. That’s why he took the DC gig in the first place.
Didn’t you just know Trump was lying when he blurted out an hour before Dr. Anthony Fauci took the mound in DC to throw out the first pitch at the Washington Nationals opener that he was going to do the same at Yankee Stadium in August?
C’mon, did you really believe that ego-driven Trump would travel to NYC for the first pitch in an empty stadium?
That’s for chumps, not Trumps.