The US Travel Association has praised the introduction of a bill “providing much-needed assistance to the devastated travel industry” in America.

The association said the bipartisan Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act provides the “stimulus needed to help bring back the millions of travel jobs lost to the pandemic”.

US Travel highlighted how the travel industry is “by far” the hardest-hit American sector amid the pandemic, losing half a trillion dollars in travel-related spending last year – 10 times the negative economic impact of 9/11.

Almost four in 10 American jobs lost in 2020 were in the leisure and hospitality sector.

It said the bill will provide support through numerous incentive and relief measures, such as a temporary business tax credit to revitalise business meetings, conferences and other events.

Other measures include a temporary entertainment business expense deduction to help entertainment venues and an individual tax credit to stimulate non-business travel.

Roger Dow, US Travel president and chief executive, said: “The evidence is abundantly clear: there will not be a US economic recovery without a travel recovery, and travel cannot recover without strong and innovative policy assistance.

“Even with the ray of hope provided by vaccines, it is unclear when travel demand will be able to rebound in earnest.

“This bill contains critical provisions to assist in rebuilding this crucial but suffering American industry.”

US Travel is leading a campaign to secure support for the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act, submitting a letter to Capitol Hill signed by more than 80 major travel-related companies and organisations.

Last month, the association 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.

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