The global association for the attractions industry is calling on Congress to consider making critical changes and providing additional aid to the attractions sector in the United States.

IAAPA forecasts that the coronavirus pandemic will generate $23 billion in economic downturn for the attractions industry in 2020. Across the US, over 235,000 jobs have been lost due to 50% of attraction venues having to make adjustments to staffing and many sites not reopening in 2020.

In collaboration with other member attractions and medical experts, the IAAPA has developed guidance designed to help sites make the appropriate changes to ensure a safe experience for guests and employees.

Hal McEvoy, president and CEO of IAAPA, commented: “As our industry looks to reopen, locations are doing so at a substantially reduced capacity and with additional costs due to new COVID-19 safety protocols.

“This has been devastating for our industry, particularly for seasonal businesses. These businesses rely on making enough revenue during the few short summer months they are open to maintain employment year-round. In addition, year-round businesses that experience peak attendance from spring break through the summer months have been substantially hurt by the pandemic,” McEvoy added.

The IAAPA is urging Congress to consider providing theme parks and attractions with Small Business Administration Loans (PPA), tax credits, liability protection, federal backstop for pandemic risk insurance, animal care financial assistance, support for severely impacted businesses.