“We want them to revisit this quickly,” Dow told CNN in a phone interview. “We need to follow the science — and a travel ban is not the most effective way.”
Dow, whose trade group represents all sectors of the $1.5 trillion travel industry, said he met multiple times with the White House over the weekend and is very encouraged that Biden signaled he’s not anticipating further restrictions.
“Even the WHO came out and said the data and science don’t support this,” Dow said. “We don’t want to see this go beyond South Africa.”
“That makes people coming in healthier than the Americans are,” he said.
Dow acknowledged the serious health challenge facing the United States, but suggested it shouldn’t overshadow other priorities. Direct travel employment fell by 34% last year amid the pandemic, according to the US Travel Association.
“We’ve got a health crisis, no doubt about it. But we’ve got a jobs crisis, an economic crisis, a mental health crisis and a diplomatic crisis,” he said.
Dow argued having more foreign tourists would improve America’s standing in the world. “Getting people here, traveling back and forth, is good public diplomacy,” he said.