January 18, 2021

ASTA Urges CDC to Take Lead in Travel Industry Recovery – Travel Agent

Last week, in a letter to Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), Zane Kerby, president CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), called for a number of specific actions to help restore consumer confidence in the domestic international travel system. The top priorities, in ASTA’s view, is to set clear stards across all travel modes for public health officials to assure consumers that it is safe to travel again.

“Our research indicates this message from the government (regarding consumer safety) will outweigh any other messages—from travel suppliers, from government officials outside public health departments, even from friends family in influencing consumer confidence,” Kirby said in the letter.

While the CDC has issued very specific communications for cruise travel, Kerby says its other efforts have been “uneven at best.” He adds, “In the absence of clear communication, the entire population remains essentially in the dark, left to rely on a patchwork of regional, state local pronouncements to inform their decision making with respect to travel.” By leaving airlines, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, rental car companies, insurance providers others to their own devices as it pertains to restating their operations—as opposed to a coordinated approach—the overall revival of the travel industry will be hindered.