Industry submits travel and tourism stimulus plan to Obama


ALEXANDRIA, VA – Yesterday, on the heels of the submission to President-elect Obama’s transition team of seven recommendations stemming from the recent travel and tourism sector economic summit, ASTA president and chair Chris Russo issued the following statement:

“ASTA is extremely pleased to have been a part of this unprecedented summit, where associations from across the industry came together to promote our common agenda — focusing on the inclusion in the new administration’s stimulus legislation of key elements needed to restore growth in American’s travel and tourism industry. We are proud of the final outcome and thank the National Tour Association for its leadership and hard work in putting this together. Each of the participating organizations has its own agenda, requiring compromise all around. After intense discussions, the final product is something of which all the signatories can be proud.

I am especially pleased to see that two key ASTA immediate-stimulus proposals were accepted by the group and that a third, the re-examination of travel bans, is among the ideas put forward for near-term consideration.

ASTA’s stimulus proposals include the restoration of a 2001 program of direct low-interest-rate loans to small businesses through the Small Business Administration and the creation of an investment tax credit program for small business investments in information-related technologies, which will be crucial for travel agencies to compete effectively in the years ahead.

ASTA has a long-standing policy of opposition to government restrictions on travel as an instrument of political pressure and is encouraged by early indications that President-Elect Obama will quickly begin to remove the obstacles to travel to Cuba. ASTA will continue to advocate for full liberalization of travel, and travel-related financial restraints, in all restricted markets.”

To view the full set of recommendations, please visit .

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge, and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest, and do business.