The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is calling on its members to contact their local lawmakers with the goal of securing more than $ 9 billion in COVID assistance.
Travel agencies are expected to lose $ 9.3 billion in revenue in the last three quarters of 2021, according to a membership survey of 1,500 advisers late last month.
In fashion now
To combat the loss, ASTA is pushing Congress to include a multibillion-dollar travel agency subsidy program in the next round of coronavirus aid. The company also hopes to add travel agencies to a provision allowing them to receive a paycheck protection program loan of three and a half times their average monthly payroll versus two and a half times and encouraging lawmakers to help with it. the recent suspension of cruise operations in Canadian waters until February 2022, a move that is expected to impact Alaska crossings.
“As you are well aware, 2021 brought additional government restrictions on travel, which further delayed the recovery of our industry. The good news is that between now and mid-March, Congress is expected to draft and pass another round of COVID-19 relief laws, “the company said in a recent message to members. “Our goal, as always, is to get as much financial support as possible for as many of our members as possible, targeting travel agencies and the travel industry as much as possible. “
“ASTA staff and outside lobbyists work tirelessly to advance our COVID priorities, but your members of Congress must also hear from you in the short window we have to affect the legislative process,” the ASTA added. “We know that we have asked you to contact your members of Congress on several occasions since the start of the pandemic, and thank the more than 25,000 of you who have done so. With another relief bill to come, we must ask you to re-engage. “
In a statement on Tuesday, ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby said that “financial support for the travel industry has been tragically insufficient, especially in less visible sectors such as agencies of travel”.
“We call on the administration and Congress to take immediate action to provide direct and targeted assistance as long as these travel restrictions remain in place through the creation of an emergency subsidy program for travel agencies and other small businesses dependent on travel, ”he said. added. “We further recommend that legislative or regulatory measures be taken to mitigate the impact of the Canadian government’s decision to suspend cruise operations in Canadian waters until February 2022 and that future aid be targeted to the sectors. the most struggling in the economy affected by the order of government. “
ASTA members can use the organization’s local portal to write or call their elected officials quickly and easily.