Already, states that depend on tourism have been found to have higher unemployment claims. Some 7.8 million Americans work in tourism and travel, and their jobs are at risk.

One hope is that Americans, reluctant to travel abroad themselves, will instead spend their vacation budgets on domestic trips. Still, it will be difficult to make up the gap while coronavirus is still prevalent—one analyst’s thought exercise found that the US could lose some $35 billion even if 100% of its foreign travel was redirected domestically.

The US does not have a federal test and trace effort to track the virus, and states and cities are offering contradictory advice about when different business activities will be permitted. Many states disregarded federal guidelines that they not resume normal activity until important conditions are met: that cases and positive test rates have fallen for two consecutive weeks, and that they have the ability to trace the spread of the virus and warn people who were potentially exposed.

Coronavirus cases in popular tourist states like New York, Nevada, California, and Florida all continue to rise. Regardless of whether governors allow businesses to re-open, travelers are likely to respond to reports of conditions on the ground; the plunge in travel spending in the US began in February, while the first official social distancing orders were issued in California on March 19.

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