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Travel Leaders React to Stimulus Bill

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Travel leaders remain optimistic and hopeful that President Trump’s $2 trillion stimulus package – which features billions for the industry, including airlines and travel agents – will jump-start economic relief for the beleaguered sector.

“(It’s) exactly the type of support that we have been calling for at the WTTC to ensure the survival of the travel and tourism industry,” World Travel & Tourism Council CEO Gloria Guevara said in a statement. “Across the world, we will continue to advocate for all businesses, large and small, across aviation, cruising lodging, travel companies and all involved in the travel chain in order to ensure that they have the financial support that they need to survive and to prevent economic devastation to the entire sector.”

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Airlines will receive more than $50 billion while travel agencies will be able to take advantage of several provisions within the bill as the Treasury Secretary can make up to $25 billion in loans, loan guarantees and other investments in support of passenger airlines, “ticket agents” (the statutory term for travel agencies) and other related aviation industries.

“The coronavirus pandemic has proved to be the biggest challenge ever faced by ASTA and its members,” said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). “Over the past few weeks, we have worked hand-in-hand with our 13,000 members to secure the maximum amount of relief for the travel agency community in this package. The fact that travel agencies are included in the airline assistance portion of the bill is a huge win and means that Congress heeded our call to include our members in any targeted travel industry relief. We are also heartened by the outpouring of support from the industry, including over 28,000 grassroots messages to legislators through ASTA.org, and feel strongly that our efforts made a significant difference in the size and scope of relief options in the bill.”

Association of Flight Attendants President Sara Nelson, representing 50,000 coronavirus-related-death-of-flight-attendant.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>flight attendants at 20 airlines, praised Congress for passing a package that includes direct financial assistance for airline workers’ wages and benefits.

But Nelson also has a bigger scope beyond just aviation.

“We have a lot of work to do in coordination with other people right in our communities and around the globe. We will especially work together to help our medical professionals on the frontlines. We need relief for other industries to protect working people since our futures are tied to each other,” she said in a statement. “Attacking the virus to end the healthcare crisis requires all of us working together and enabling our economy to rebound from this financial crisis requires strengthening everyone in our country. Our work creates the value of our businesses. We are the consumers and the taxpayers. Most importantly, we are the mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, siblings and dear friends who love and cherish each other.”

Guevara agreed.

“The continued partnership between governments and the private sector around the world is crucial for the survival and economic recovery of the entire global sector,” she said. “In the USA, we are continuing to partner with the coronavirus-on-travel-industry-job-losses-worsens.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>U.S. Travel Association to support all efforts for a rapid pathway to economic recovery.”

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