More than 225 travel advisors, representing all 50 states, journeyed to our nation’s capital to advocate for the travel industry for the American Society of Travel Advisors’ (ASTA) Legislative Day. In addition to meetings with Congressional representatives—more than 200, according to the association—the annual event included a prep course for the meetings as well as an industry forecast panel discussion.
According to a press release from ASTA, among the issues discussed with legislators and their staffs were ensuring that ASTA’s priorities are maintained in the multi-year Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 3935/S. 1939), especially those related to airline refunds; the DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Advisory Committee and streamlining offline air consumer disclosures; and supporting the U.S. Department of Commerce’s $3.5 million funding request to set up the office of the new Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism.
“When it comes to the government, you face a choice: engage in the process or put your head in the sand, leave the field to the opposition, and hope for the best. Starting well before COVID hit, ASTA and our members have engaged tirelessly, both in D.C. and in the states, and we have a series of wins to show for it,” said President & CEO Zane Kerby. “By showing Congress who we are, who we employ, and that we are paying attention, the government will understand that travel advisors watch out for the traveling public. Legislative Day is the most important way to send that message.”
“Policymaking is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Executive Vice President of Advocacy Eben Peck. “Our goal is to raise awareness about the critical role travel advisors play in the broader travel and tourism industry, and to secure support from as many legislators as possible for policies that will help our members’ businesses recover post-COVID. Legislative Day is the most impactful thing our members can do to help make that happen.”
Visit asta.org for more information.