President-elect Joe Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan was met by open arms in the travel industry.
The plan includes stimulus checks, the continuation of a number of programs established under other relief bills, funding for vaccinations and testing and more.
Eben Peck, ASTA's executive vice president of advocacy, said the plan will assist the travel agency community, for instance through an extension of unemployment programs originally established under the Cares Act through September. Agencies will also benefit from targeted grants to the small businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus crisis.
"We welcome and wholeheartedly support the provisions of President-elect Biden's Covid-19 relief proposal that will help spur the travel industry's recovery and provide support to ASTA members, employees and independent contractors," Peck said in a statement.
Roger Dow, CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, said the association applauded Biden's emphasis on accelerated vaccine distribution, which he called "key to getting travel back to normal." U.S. Travel was also pleased with grants and loans earmarked for small businesses.
"Prior to the pandemic, travel jobs existed in every congressional district," Dow said. "Travel will play a vital role in America's economic recovery in the months ahead, but businesses will need this lifeline to survive until regular travel can fully resume."
Peck said the introduction of the plan is just the beginning, and ASTA will continue to work with legislators on the measures it includes and getting additional support for members like targeted funding.