ASTA Expresses Support for New Bill That Would Help Travel Agencies

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is expressing its support for the Securing Access…

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is expressing its support for the Securing Access for Venue Equity (SAVE) Act (H.R. 2120), which was introduced in Congress this week.

“We strongly support the SAVE Act, which would give our members access to grants of up to $10 million to help their businesses recover from the ravages of COVID-19. This support is sorely needed, as the travel agency sector has been catastrophically impacted and faces a longer recovery window than virtually any other industry,” said ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby.

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ASTA has been calling for travel agencies to be included in this program for several weeks. The bipartisan bill would make travel agencies and other hard-hit businesses eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program that was established in the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2021 (P.L. 116-159).

The program includes more than $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues and is administered by the Small Business Association’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Those who are eligible can receive grants equal to 45 percent of their 2019 gross earned revenue, with a maximum of $10 million for a single grant.

“As we have said time and again, when government action has a disproportionally negative impact on a specific industry, it is a matter of fundamental fairness that the government provide targeted relief to the businesses most severely affected. With this principle as our North Star, we will keep fighting for relief until the travel agency sector is restored to health,” said Kerby.

The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on March 23 by Representatives Mark Amodei (R-Nevada), Charlie Crist (D-Florida,) Bill Pascrell (D-New Jersey) and Dina Titus (D-Nevada).