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US Retailers Pin Hopes on Tourists As Travel Ban Lifts

U.S. retailers are hoping incoming international travelers will help buoy sales for the holiday shopping season, CNBC reported.

The President Joe Biden administration will be allowing overseas visitors into the country as of Monday (Nov. 7), according to the report. This comprises travelers from over 30 countries, including the U.K. and Brazil, which have been restricted from entering the U.S. since the pandemic began in early 2020.

There will be caveats as visitors will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and come with a negative test from within three days before they left their home countries — although there will be exemptions for those under 18 if they have medical reasons for not getting vaccinated, or if they come from one of the 50 countries where vaccines aren’t as widely available, the report stated.

Retail experts have said easing of travel restrictions likely won’t be an instant fix for the retail industry, as it will take time to recuperate back to the same levels of before the pandemic in terms of both travel and spending, according to the report. There are also fewer flights due to strict rules around pandemic-era travel, including long lines and vaccination proof requirements, which could deter some travelers.

And some countries like China have still been restricting outbound travel, the report stated.

However, retailers have seen the change as a potential way to get their sales back up, according to the report. The policy could help garner billions of dollars in tourist souvenirs and other items, including expensive luxury pieces.

In other news, the “great resignation,” as it’s been termed, has been continuing to cause issues in the labor market, with Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky saying the issue is “new and not welcome.”

Read more: Labor Shortages Continue as Bigger Paychecks Fail to Lure People Back to Work

According to Cynthia Sanborn, Norfolk Southern’s Chief Operating Officer, retention is an issue and has been growing worse in the last two quarters.

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