December 17, 2015
ASTA Communication Department
Alexandria, VA, December 17, 2015 – American Society of Travel agents (ASTA) President and CEO Zane Kerby issues this statement regarding the U.S. State Department's announcement today that it has reached a bilateral arrangement with Cuba to establish scheduled air service between the two countries:
"ASTA congratulates the State Department on reaching an agreement with Cuba that brings us closer to restoring the right of all Americans to fly to Cuba, which has been denied them for far too long. ASTA member travel agents believe that Americans ought to be allowed to travel across the globe without restriction, allowing them to act as ambassadors of freedom and American values abroad.
"ASTA estimates at least two million additional Americans could visit Cuba by 2017 if Congress votes for a full lifting of travel restrictions before the end of this year. While U.S. law still prohibits travel to Cuba for tourist activities, we are encouraged by the continued progress made by the Obama Administration, and we strongly urge Congress to fully repeal the travel ban once and for all.
"Resuming commercial air travel will benefit American consumers and the ASTA travel agents who serve them. ASTA continues to support an increase in travelers' choices to Cuba and a full and complete lifting of travel restrictions."
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.