January 6, 2017
The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) issues the following statement in support of H.R. 351, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2017, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today by Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC), Jim McGovern (D-MA) and others. The bill would repeal restrictions on travel by American citizens and legal residents to Cuba in their entirety.
"ASTA commends Congressmen Sanford, McGovern and their bipartisan coalition for introducing The Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2017, and we pledge to do everything in our power to get this bill across the finish line. Ending the travel embargo would mean that more Americans will have the chance to explore a part of the world that’s been restricted for far too long. ASTA and its members 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.
"The resumption of commercial flights to Cuba is a significant step in the right direction that will benefit American consumers and the ASTA travel agents who serve them. It’s time for Congress to take the next logical step and complete the lifting of travel restrictions to Cuba, which will bring enhanced business opportunities for U.S. agents and travel companies and at least two million additional Americans visitors to the island by the end of 2018."
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.