February 16, 2016
Alexandria, VA, February 16, 2016 – American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) President and CEO Zane Kerby issues this statement regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation's announcement of an agreement between the United States and Cuba restoring scheduled air service between the two countries:
"ASTA congratulates DOT and its Cuban counterparts on reaching this agreement, which will increase air service to Cuba five-fold and will mean more and more affordable transportation options for Americans wishing to undertake authorized travel to Cuba. Resuming commercial air travel will benefit American consumers and the ASTA travel agents who serve them.
"ASTA and its members have long believed that Americans ought to be allowed to travel across the globe without restriction, allowing them to act as ambassadors of freedom and American values abroad. We estimate at least two million additional Americans could visit Cuba by 2018 if Congress were to lift the travel ban before the end of this year. While U.S. law still prohibits travel to Cuba for tourist activities, we are encouraged by the continued progress made by the Obama Administration, and we strongly urge Congress to enact the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act and fully repeal the travel ban once and for all."
Full text of the DOT's announcement can be found here
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.