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American Society of Travel Agents

ASTA to recognize agents who go the extra mile

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) launched the Extra Mile Award contest

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) launched the Extra Mile Award contest, which will recognize travel agents who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help their customers.

ASTA agents regularly deal with trips gone wrong, accommodation problems and unexpected surprises that travelers face, said ASTA President and CEO Kathy Sudeikis, CTC. This award is a way of recognizing agents who have `gone the extra mile` for consumers.

The annual award will be a way for ASTA to highlight and show its appreciation for the agent who has awakened at 3 a.m. to resolve a hotel problem, had to re-plan an entire trip after a travel advisory was issued or simply went that extra step to make a customer`s trip perfect.

Agents who exceed expectations and their traditional roles will receive some well-deserved recognition, Sudeikis added.

All travel agents can nominate themselves or can be nominated by their employers or customers. This will ensure that everyone who has gone that extra mile has a chance to win. The person nominating the agent will be required to write up to 500 words on ASTA`s Web site about why this travel agent deserves the ASTA Extra Mile Award. The entry must include examples of the travel agent`s consistency of effectively serving her clients and examples of exemplary client service. The judging panel will consist of qualified travel writers.

The grand prize winner will receive registration, airfare and accommodations to the 2005 World Travel Congress in Montreal, where they will receive an award presentation, $1,000 donated to a charity of the winner`s choice, one year ASTA membership or renewal, and a trophy or plaque recognizing the achievement. The nominating process begins immediately, and the winner will be announced in the summer of 2005.

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents and its affiliated organizations is to enhance the professionalism and profitability of members worldwide through effective representation in industry and government affairs, education and training, and by identifying and meeting the needs of the traveling public. The Society is the world`s largest and most influential travel trade association with over 20,000 members in 140 countries.