ASTA Advocacy

ASTA promotes and defends the travel agency community at all levels of government and within every segment of the travel industry. Our advocacy team is engaged around the clock, fighting against federal and state policies that will negatively impact you and your clients and for policies that will allow your business to grow and thrive.

Thanks to ASTA’s efforts, travel agencies have saved hundreds of millions of dollars (over $133 million in 2019 alone) in new taxes, fees and regulatory costs. Plus, since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been helping members navigate the pandemic for themselves and their clients, bringing financial support to travel agencies and the first-ever unemployment benefits for independent contractors.

We also fought to end the COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers flying to the U.S. from abroad, a serious deterrent to international travel. Our successes rely on the involvement of our members; we make it easy for you to stay informed and speak up to legislators and regulators on the issues that matter to you, your clients and your business.



ASTA’s in-house government affairs team actively monitors legislation and regulations coming before Congress, the White House and federal agencies as well as in all 50 state legislatures for issues that might affect travel advisors, the industry or the traveling public and organizes campaigns so that the agency community can make their voices heard early in the process.

  • ASTA Requests American Airlines Delay Plan to Implement New Distribution Capability

    Society requests AA postpone full NDC implementation to the end of 2023

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  • Travel Advisor Priorities for FAA Reauthorization Sent to Capitol Hill

    For the first time since 2018, Congress will reevaluate federal aviation policy this year through the FAA reauthorization process.

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  • ASTA's 2021-2022 Advocacy Accomplishments

    ASTA fights to protect the interests of its members and the broader travel agency community at all levels of government— federal, state and even local.

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  • Travel Advisors to Department of Labor: Independent Contractor Proposal Should Be Withdrawn

    The American Society of Travel Advisors strongly urged the U.S. Department of Labor to withdraw its proposal for determining employee or independent contractor classification.

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  • Travel Advisor Priorities Included in Year-End Spending Bill

    Fiscal Year 2023 omnibus spending bill included provisions of the Visit America Act/Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act—a policy priority of ASTA’s during its Legislative Day event in June.

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  • Travel Advisors to DOT: Don’t Put Us on the Hook for Airline Cancellations

    Today, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to reverse course and not require travel advisors to pay client refunds out of pocket for cancelled flights when the agency is not in possession of the client’s funds.


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  • ASTA's Eben Peck Testifies before DOT on Airline Fee Disclosures

    Eben Peck, Executive Vice President of Advocacy for the American Society of Travel Advisors, testified before the Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of Transportation on December 8th, 2022. 


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  • Bipartisan Senate Proposal to Restore Employee Retention Tax Credit Unveiled

    ASTA has been advocating for the Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act, recognizing that, for many businesses, the pandemic is far from over.

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Our Advocacy Toolkit provides time-efficient, powerful ways for you to advocate on the issues that matter to you. Sign up for our alerts and we'll make it easy for you to support our efforts. Take two minutes to complete a sign-and-send letter that we automatically dispatch to your legislators. Join our thrilling annual Legislative Day when we head to Washington D.C. and gather in state delegations to visit the Capitol and call on our Senators and Representatives.

Advocacy Documents

Do you know how big the travel agency industry is in your state? What is the projected economic impact on the industry of pending legislation? Your federal and state representatives take your concerns seriously when they understand how important our industry is to their constituency and the potential effects of their decisions. Our fact sheets can answer these questions and more.

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Established in 1979, ASTA’s political action committee (ASTAPAC) protects the interests of the travel advisor community by raising and spending money to elect members of Congress who support the travel industry. The PAC works for you by building strong relationships with lawmakers and providing ASTA with additional opportunities to share our most pressing concerns. ASTAPAC serves as the only PAC for travel advisors, educating elected officials about our issues and counterbalancing opposing positions. Legislators realize that ASTA's strength comes from the thousands of individual travel advisors who show their commitment to our shared priorities by contributing to its PAC program. 





A key part of ASTA’s advocacy is aimed at ensuring that the traveling public fully appreciates the value that travel agencies provide. In addition to constant proactive outreach and responsiveness to the media, ASTA undertakes initiatives such as the “Not All Heroes Wear Capes” campaign, which highlighted the extraordinary work travel advisors undertook to help their clients through the roadblocks and snares of COVID-19. Here is a small sampling of content that ASTA's public relations team has contributed to that help educate travelers about all the advantages of using a travel advisor. 

  • Travel Advisors Are Among the Heroes Of The Pandemic

    Learn how travel advisors saved the day for countless travelers during the pandemic, getting stranded clients home from around the world as borders were closing and advocating for refunds for their clients. Meet some of the #TravelHeroes in this five-minute video.

    Watch Video

    ASTA advocated on many fronts for the CDC to repeal the inbound COVID testing rule, which had been standing in the way of the industry's recovery.

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    One lesson of COVID-19 was the value of working with a travel advisor, according to this CNBC article

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  • Why Smart Travelers Need Smart Travel Agents

    Did you know that some countries require you have two full blank pages in your passport to enter and that in many countries, it’s considered rude to tip? Smart travel advisors know things that even smart travelers don’t think to ask, says Mary Ann Anderson in Forbes com. Here, she discusses what a travel advisor can do for you.

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  • 5 Reasons You Need a Travel Agent

    "While a good agent is so vital that it is simply foolish to plan a high-end trip on your own without one, they can also help travelers of all budgets," says senior contributor Larry Olmstead shares in his Forbes article "5 Reasons Why You Need a Travel Agent More Than Ever." "The major travel search sites routinely leave out flights (lots of them) and even entire airlines...many flights they display are ones you don’t want, starting with “basic economy” fares that hit you with tons of restrictions and fees, so the price you see isn’t the one you end up paying, along with connections way too short or way too long, ones that no responsible travel agent would let you book. "

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    "If your plans include traveling in the near future, you may want to consider working with a travel agent. Now more than ever, these travel pros can work their magic to help you plan your trip and keep everything running smoothly," says AAA Travel Editor Laurie Sterbens in her article "7 Reasons Why You Should Use a Travel Advisor." She notes that while the internet has made researching destinations and booking a trip easier and more accessible than ever, the choices can be overwhelming. "Add to that the new and ever-changing travel restrictions related to the pandemic and suddenly your vacation can go from dream to dread!"

    Read more


New taxes. Onerous reporting requirements. Travel-inhibiting regulations. Our advocacy team is always on the lookout for legislative and regulatory threats that could negatively impact your business and your clients and empowers you to use your personal story and industry experience to effectively augment our advocacy efforts in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to ASTA’s efforts, travel agencies have saved hundreds of millions of dollars (over $133 million in 2019 alone) in new taxes and regulatory costs. Plus, since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been helping members navigate the pandemic for themselves and their clients, bringing support to travel agencies and the first-ever unemployment benefits for independent contractors.

Sign up for our advocacy alerts, check out our advocacy toolkit and see how easy and rewarding it is to get involved. If you're not at the table, you're on the menu.

American Society of Travel Advisors

123 N Pitt St, Ste 400, Alexandria, VA 22314 U.S.A.

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