March 25, 2020
Travel Advisors Will Have Access to $25 Billion Airline Assistance Funds, Multiple Other Options for Relief Under Bill
Alexandria, VA (March 25, 2020) – Today, Congressional leadership and the Trump Administration came to agreement and released the text of a massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. While it is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Trump in the coming days, it is possible that additional changes might be made.
“The coronavirus pandemic has proved to be the biggest challenge ever faced by ASTA and its members,” said Zane Kerby, President & CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). “Over the past few weeks, we have worked hand-in-hand with our 13,000 members to secure the maximum amount of relief for the travel agency community in this package. The fact that travel agencies are included in the airline assistance portion of the bill is a huge win and means that Congress heeded our call to include our members in any targeted travel industry relief. We are also heartened by the outpouring of support from the industry, including over 28,000 grassroots messages to legislators through ASTA.org, and feel strongly that our efforts made a significant difference in the size and scope of relief options in the bill.”
Among the provisions of the CARES Act that will provide relief to the travel agency industry, its employees and independent contractors (ICs):
In the coming days, ASTA will be analyzing the entirety of the relief package for provisions impacting its members, and will explore key questions such as how the new SBA loan program interacts with the Administration’s existing Disaster Relief programs. We also plan to hold a member webinar on Friday, March 27 3 PM ET to provide members with a preliminary analysis.
ASTA will also monitor closely SBA and Treasury/Transportation Department announcements with regard to how they plan to distribute this relief. In the meantime, members are encouraged to stay tuned to ASTA.org and subscribe to ASTA’s Travel Advisor Daily newsletter for the latest information. Finally, given the scale of the crisis, ASTA expects Congress will consider additional relief legislation in the coming weeks and months and if so we will be heavily engaged to get members access to further relief.
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.