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ASTA Advocates for Travel Agency Relief

In late April, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) announced the launch of an ambitious digital campaign to increase awareness on Capitol Hill about the critical importance of the travel agency industry and the need for additional relief from Congress.

The campaign is running in partnership with POLITICO, a prominent Washington DC-based multimedia organization that averages 54 million unique visitors to its website each month and is widely read by policymakers and their staff.

"While some bright spots have started to emerge, the fact of the matter is that travel advisors face a long road to recovery with the State Department and CDC continuing to discourage international travel, while cruise lines remain shuttered and business travel is still at a fraction of 2019 levels," said Zane Kerby, ASTA's President & CEO. "Support for the travel industry in the various relief bills has been tragically inadequate, which is why we have partnered with POLITICO to enhance our traditional advocacy work—itself unprecedented in its scale and scope for the past 14 months—and find new ways to reach policymakers."

The centerpiece of the POLITICO campaign is the "10 Reasons Why Travel Advisors Are Industry Essential" focus index. This robust promotion plan across POLITICO's platforms has the goal of driving traffic to the focus index, while increasing impressions and visibility for the campaign's target audience—the policymakers in Washington D.C., who need to see and understand this critical information.

At least three million impressions are expected for the campaign, across the homepage, POLITICO's Morning Transportation newsletter, and various social media channels.

ASTA is encouraging travel advisors and industry partners to share the campaign through their own social media channels using this easy copy-and-paste language and link:

Why should Congress pass targeted relief for travel advisors? ASTA teamed up with @PoliticoFocus to explain: @ASTAadvisors sponsored content on @POLITICO.

The policy priorities highlighted through the campaign include passage of the SAVE Act (H.R. 2120) to include travel agencies in the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program; and targeting additional relief toward the most severely distressed industries with prioritization for businesses who suffered a 75% or more year-over-year revenue loss in 2020.

"To date, Congress has prioritized higher-profile segments of the travel and hospitality industry at the expense of less-visible segments experiencing the same or more severe levels of revenue loss, like ours" continued Kerby. "We intend to use this POLITICO campaign to highlight this unfairness, further educate policymakers about our part of the industry and get our members the relief they deserve."

The campaign runs through May 30, 2021, which overlaps with ASTA Legislative Day 2021, a hybrid in-person/virtual event on May 18-19 in Washington, DC.

Courtesy of Groups Today.

Photo courtesy of ASTA.


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