Now that the CARES Act has been signed into law, ASTA is doing its part to continue to advocate on behalf of travel advisors.
In a webinar last week, the organization spelled out how this piece of legislation could provide relief to travel advisors. One of the ways in which the CARES Act sets aside money for struggling agencies is in a fund of $25 billion set aside for airlines and their ticket agents.
In the letter, ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby highlights the dire situation in which travel advisors find themselves during the coronavirus outbreak and offers ASTA’s expertise in distributing these loans.
“As you might imagine, due to the coronavirus crisis and its impact on travel, new business has largely come to a halt in the past few weeks and layoffs and agency closures have begun in earnest,” writes Kerby. “As of March 19, 77 percent of ASTA members surveyed predicted they will be out of business in six months or less if current conditions hold.”
ASTA also advocates on behalf of travel advisors, offering their assistance in the distribution of loans.
“We offer any assistance you might need specific to Section 4003(b)(1) as you balance the competing interests,” Kerby writes in the letter, touting ASTA’s prior experience with matters such as these, including the distribution of funds from the mid-1990s $86 million court settlement related to airline commission cuts to its membership.
The letter closes with a message of hope.
“While it will take years for the travel agency industry to recover from this crisis, we believe several provisions of the CARES Act will help speed that recovery and put travel agencies in a position to serve clients once the economy rebounds.”
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