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American Society of Travel Agents

Travel leaders to require membership in ASTA

This is the third time that ASTA has signed an agreement for membership this year. In September it signed an agreement with the Signature Travel Network to mandate membership in ASTA, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

ALEXANDRIA, VA – In a vote of confidence for the work being done for the travel agent community by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the Franchise Advisory Board (FAB) for Travel Leaders, based in Plymouth, Minn., voted unanimously in favor of requiring membership in ASTA for all Travel Leaders franchisees, beginning in 2015.
 
Subsequently, the arrangement, agreed to by the Travel Leaders FAB and Travel Leaders Franchise Group, is for the mandatory membership to be phased in over the next two years. Travel Leaders is modifying its franchise agreements specifically for Travel Leaders franchisees as they come up for renewal to add the mandatory ASTA membership language. Travel Leaders Franchise Group also agrees to maintain its Premium Member status in ASTA as part of the agreement.
 
“This requirement authorized by the Travel Leaders Franchise Advisory Board, which the franchise organization is implementing, will help ensure the future financial viability of our association. The decision speaks to the work we do to promote and defend the entire travel agent community,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. “We are grateful for our consortia and franchise partners and their leadership who are stepping up to the plate and recognizing that ASTA is the only national trade association advocating for the continued education and training, and positive growth of this profession.”
 
Block, who was voted in as ASTA Chairman of the Board in September, said, “We believe this is the best way for our industry to speak with one voice -a stronger voice- if more organizations in the industry supported ASTA.” He added that the return on investment in an ASTA membership “far outweighs the cost.”
 
This is the third time that ASTA has signed an agreement for membership this year. In September it signed an agreement with the Signature Travel Network to mandate membership in ASTA, effective Jan. 1, 2015. And in June, the MAST Travel Network agreed to pay a portion of the ASTA dues for its members. ASTA currently represents approximately 8,000 members, although that number is much higher considering the number of agents who are represented indirectly as employees of member agencies. Total firms represented are about 3,500, of which 2,000 are U.S. domestic travel agencies.
 
ASTA continues to roll out new benefits to members as the association rebuilds its resources, such as a Value of Travel Agents Study, new Travel Agent and International Travel Agent membership cards, an updated regulatory compliance handbook, and a new system for agency owners to test their agents’ knowledge of that compliance. ASTA also will beef up its regular events this year, such as adding to its webinar series, holding the ASTA Destination Expo in Marrakech, Morocco, Feb. 26-March 1, and adding an International Agent Summit and a new multi-national corporate travel program to the ASTA Global Convention to be held in Washington, D.C. Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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