October 6, 2020
The Society is deeply disappointed that policymakers are dodging their responsibility to support small business owners and travel advisors
Alexandria, VA, October 6, 2020 – The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) issues the following statement in response to White House’s intent to abandon coronavirus relief negotiations until after the election:
“Against the backdrop of human suffering, extraordinary job loss and millions of small businesses closing, we are disgusted that the Administration has decided to abandon relief negotiations. All businesses in the country have been impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another, but few sectors have been as hard hit, or face a longer road to recovery, than the travel agency industry.
“More than 9 in 10 travel agencies’ business income is down at least 75 percent, even factoring in the relief programs created by the CARES Act. Close to 64 percent of travel agencies surveyed have laid off at least half their staff. All told, 73 percent of ASTA members predict they will be out of business in six months or less if current conditions hold and additional federal relief is not provided. Travel advisors simply cannot wait for additional federal aid to come in December 2020 or March 2021.
“It’s hard to escape the conclusion that our own government is not helping the U.S. travel industry through this crisis where it can and should. Rather – our own government is shirking responsibility and playing an active role bringing the industry to its knees.”
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.