ASTA Calls on State Department to Resume Processing Passports

When Marriott first unveiled news that it was hacked the company said a potential 500 million guests were impacted, with their passport and credit card information potentially at risk.
Photo by Getty Images/goodmoments

In a letter to Assistant Secretary of State Carl Risch, addressed on Friday, American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) president and CEO Zane Kerby calls for the swift resumption of the U.S. passport processing system, which has been suspended for all but "life-and-death emergencies" since March 19.

“We are hopeful that international travel will resume in the near future, though certainly in a limited fashion and so long as the appropriate public health officials deem it safe,” Kerby says in the letter. “As it does so, the need for a resumption of normal or close-to-normal passport processing will grow in importance. Over the past few weeks, we have been contacted by a number of members whose clients’ plans to travel internationally in late 2020 and 2021 are at risk of being negatively impacted by their inability to apply for or renew their passports.”

He adds that many of the advisors’ clients applied for passport renewals before the pandemic “reached full force” and have been unable to secure any information from the State Department about the status of their applications.

Free Luxury Travel Newsletter

Like this story? Subscribe to The Dossier

Luxury Travel Advisor’s only newsletter, covering unique destinations and product news for affluent travelers. Delivered every Tuesday & Thursday.

“For the travel industry, a return to normalcy will be a slow and deliberate process, heavily influenced by government policy both here and abroad, and we at ASTA are committed to working toward that end with those governments, our members and the broader travel ecosystem in a way that puts the safety and health of U.S. citizens at its center,” Kerby says. “Resuming passport processing operations may be a small part of this process, but it is a critical and central one … as such, while we recognize the many challenges COVID-19 poses to the Department, we urge you to make the restoring of passport processing operations a priority as you work toward the safe resumption of international travel.”

This article originally appeared on

Related Articles

ASTA: Commissions On Vouchers Should Be Paid Upon Issuance

House Approves Updates to SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program

ASTA Sends Letter to SBA, Recommending PPP Changes

Although Uncertain, Americans Becoming More Confident in Travel

Suggested Articles:

Bulgari Hotels & Resorts has announced plans for a new Rome hotel, Bulgari Hotel Roma, which is slated to open in 2022. Here's what we know so far.

Paramount Business Jets and Exceptional Villas have partnered, enabling clients to streamline their vacation planning and facilitate safe travel.

The Greece-based luxury all-inclusive company's “Ikos Green” program details its commitment to sustainability and the local community. Learn more.