The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is launching an “ambitious” digital campaign to increase awareness on Capitol Hill about the importance of the travel agency industry and the need for additional relief from Congress. The campaign will run in partnership with Politico, a Washington, D.C.-based multimedia organization that averages 54 million unique visitors to its website each month and is widely read by policymakers and their staff, according to ASTA.
“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 [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] 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 and CEO in a written statement.
The centerpiece of the campaign is the “10 Reasons Why Travel Advisors Are Industry Essential” focus index. This promotion plan across Politico’s platforms starts Friday, April 30, with the goal of driving traffic to the focus index while increasing impressions and visibility for ASTA’s target audience—the policymakers in Washington D.C. who need to see and understand this information. At least 3 million impressions are expected for the campaign, across the Politico.com homepage, Politico’s Morning Transportation newsletter and various social media channels.
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 percent 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,” added Kerby, adding the goal of the campaign is “to highlight this unfairness, further educate policymakers about our part of the industry and get our members the relief they deserve.”
The campaign will run from April 30 through May 30, 2021, which overlaps with ASTA Legislative Day 2021, a hybrid in-person/virtual event on May 18-19 in Washington, D.C.