The US travel industry has welcomed a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan for the Covid-hit American economy revealed by president-elect Joe Biden.

The proposal includes $440 billion for small businesses, $1,400 direct payments to people and $415 billion to combat the virus.

Biden, who is to succeed Donald Trump as president next week, wants $20 billion to step up Covid vaccinations.

US Travel Association president and chief executive Roger Dow said: “Accelerating the distribution of vaccines is the key to getting travel back to normal, and we applaud president-elect Biden’s emphasis on a robust federal leadership role to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

“Further, we are encouraged by the measures to provide additional grants and loans to small businesses in the hardest-hit industries, which include travel.”

The economic hardships of the pandemic will persist, so it is important that struggling businesses continue to receive aid to maintain operations and keep workers on payrolls, he added.

“Prior to the pandemic, travel jobs existed in every congressional district,” Dow said.

“Travel will play a vital role in America’s economic recovery in the months ahead, but businesses will need this lifeline to survive until regular travel can fully resume. 

“We are grateful to resident-elect Biden for his focus on combating the virus and providing relief to America’s hard-hit industries, and we look forward to working with the new administration on additional recovery and stimulus measures.”