Travel Payments

A Proposal To Kickstart US Travel With Tax Credits Is Lean On Details

suitcases in airport

One of the measures being explored to help offset the economic damage of the pandemic is the Explore America Tax Credit, which would incentivize Americans to visit new places to help boost the travel and tourism industry, USA Today reports.

The idea hasn't yet been fully developed, and it's uncertain if such an incentive would be enough to persuade some Americans to travel with the threat of the coronavirus still present.

But the concept would give a much-needed boost to businesses such as cruise lines, restaurants, airlines and hotels, according to the news outlet. President Donald Trump made a brief reference to the idea in recent remarks, saying one idea was for a tax break that Americans could use for domestic travel, but he did not expound upon that.

So the questions are still lingering: Will there be income limits on the new credits? Will the tax credit need to demonstrate that the user traveled a substantial difference away from their home in order to be eligible? And will spending on travel prior to the passing of a bill be counted, or will it only take effect after the bill is passed?

None of those answers are available now, and summer vacation season is officially in swing as of June 20, with Americans figuring out their plans in a drastically changed world. Many of them are looking more to domestic road trips and vacations in the open wilderness, to avoid cramped spaces like planes and trains.

One idea, according to USA Today, would involve giving a 50 percent credit on spending of up to $8,000 per household, including airfare, rental cars, hotels, theme park admissions and restaurants.

And as reported previously by PYMNTS, Bookings Holdings' President and CEO Glenn Fogel would be in favor of the government subsidizing peoples' vacations. He cited previous eras of government turmoil where the government intervened to save the economy.

But no bill has been put forward, and analysts haven't seen any provisions in current bills that address the issue.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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