Associations congratulate Biden on election win

AAHOA and USTA also urged renewed efforts to pass a federal COVID-19 stimulus package

Major media outlets declared Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday. AAHOA and the U.S. Travel Association issued statements of congratulations over the weekend while also calling for renewed efforts to pass a new federal COVID-19 relief package.

MAJOR MEDIA OUTLETS declared Joe Biden as president-elect Saturday after days of ballot counting gave the former vice president a victory in the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania. Despite President Trump’s refusal to concede the election, most of the nation accepted the results, including major hotel industry associations that are eager for the federal government to get back to work.

Biden made a similar point in his first speech after the media declarations, according to the Associated Press.

“I sought this office to restore the soul of America and to make America respected around the world again and to unite us here at home,” Biden said.

Cecil Staton, AAHOA’s president and CEO, congratulated Biden on Saturday while also listing priorities for the new administration.

“On behalf of AAHOA’s 20,000 hotel owners, we offer our sincere congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. We wish them success in their endeavors to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, reinvigorate travel, and get our economy back on track,” Staton said. “We will work to ensure they honor their commitments to help small business owners, especially those hit hardest by the pandemic. America’s hotel owners look forward to working with the Biden administration and congressional leadership to help small businesses come out on the other side of this crisis.”

Staton also said AAHOA’s efforts to advocate for more federal relief from the COVID-19 pandemic related economic downturn will continue.

“When the 116th Congress returns for the lame duck session later this month, America’s hoteliers will continue to press them and the Trump administration to work together to pass a new economic stimulus to help the people and industries hit hardest by this pandemic, including hoteliers,” he said. “America’s hotel owners also offer our thanks to President Trump. Under his leadership, we saw the elimination of numerous burdensome regulations and the most significant tax reform in three decades. We hope his presidency inspires more hoteliers to answer the call of public service and seek opportunities to lead in their communities.”

The U.S. Travel Association also mixed a call to action with its congratulations to the new president-elect.

“We applaud President-elect Biden’s objective of helping the industries most heavily impacted by the pandemic. The travel industry accounts for more than a third of overall U.S. unemployment, and policies to promote relief, recovery, and stimulus for travel businesses are integral to a U.S. economic turnaround,” said Roger Dow, USTA president and CEO. “We share the emphasis on combatting the spread of COVID-19 expressed by the president-elect while building economic growth. The right combination of technologies and behaviors already exists to allow the restart of travel without compromising health and safety, and making rapid and reliable testing more widely available will be a key element of an even broader economic reopening.”

Vote counts remained ongoing in some states and it may be weeks before all votes are certified. The official vote count as of Sunday had Biden with 279 electoral votes, higher than the 270 needed to win the presidency.