Industry associations congratulate Biden, Harris

Just before noon on Jan. 20, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. During his first 100 days, President Biden plans to enact a $1.9 trillion relief bill aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. Among the inclusion in the bill is $400 billion to combat the virus directly (such as vaccine distribution), $350 billion for state and local governments, $15 billion for a new grant program for small business, unemployment benefits and more.

The Industry Reacts

Travel and hospitality associations have released statements congratulating Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on their inaugurations. 
“Today’s peaceful transfer of power marks a new chapter as our country moves forward together,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “Over the last year, our nation, and the world, has faced incredible difficulties, but we are resilient, and working together we can overcome these historic challenges.

“As an industry, we continue to face historically low occupancy rates, massive job loss, and record hotel closures. Our industry needs help to retain and rehire our associates, revive our local communities, and restart our economy. While the vaccine rollout has begun, it will likely take months to widely distribute, and travel is not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2023. We urge Congress and the new administration to come together on a longer-term stimulus package that will ensure our industry survives so that the men and women who are the backbone and heart of hospitality can get back to work and unleash the power of the American dream.”

“We look forward to the vision and leadership offered by the Biden administration as our nation works to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and get our economy back on track,” said AAHOA President and CEO Cecil P. Staton. “The ambitious plan to vaccinate 100 million people in the next 100 days, if achieved, would give a much-needed boost to consumer confidence that could lead to a resumption of travel, tourism, and in-person events. Such a significant increase in vaccinations and testing will go a long way towards alleviating the uncertainty that surrounds the viability and safety of resuming these pre-pandemic activities. Small business owners are struggling with the pandemic’s economic fallout, and the plan outlined by President Biden looks to target those industries, such as hospitality, that are experiencing a disproportionate amount of hardship. We are optimistic that the new administration’s focus on the public good will speed along our recovery, and we look forward to working with President Biden and his team to do right by America’s small businesses.”


The U.S. Travel Association also shared its statement on the change in leadership.

“President Biden is acutely aware of the economic pain the pandemic has inflicted on our industry and its workforce, and we are encouraged by the administration’s focus on providing additional, direct relief to businesses in the hardest-hit industries,” said USTA President and CEO Roger Dow. “Travel supported one in 10 jobs prior to the pandemic, powering the economy and providing jobs in urban and rural communities alike. It is well within reach to return America to the record growth the travel industry experienced prior to the pandemic through national strategies that will revive the American economy, shorten the recovery, and help unite a divided nation as travel is uniquely equipped to do. And given President Biden’s well-known affinity for Amtrak, we share a common priority to connect our cities with improved national and regional mobility across all modes of travel infrastructure—passenger rail as well as airports, highways and public transit—to facilitate greater travel and tourism.

“Vice President Harris has represented one of the largest state tourism economies in the country and has seen firsthand travel’s positive impact on local communities. We also acknowledge the deep significance of Vice President Harris being not only the first woman, but the first Black and Indian-American woman, to serve in this high role—a fitting reflection of America’s diverse populace.

“U.S. Travel again congratulates President Biden and Vice President Harris and stands ready to work with the new administration and the Congress to rebuild the U.S. travel industry, restore millions of travel-related jobs in the years ahead, and to safely bring people across the country and around the world together once again.”

Portions of this article first appeared on Hotel Management's sister site, Travel Agent Central.