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ASTA, ITN Productions launch 'Travel Agents Taking Off' news program

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The program, to be called Travel Agents Taking Off, will be an in-depth, online program specifically aimed at explaining what travel consultants do and how consumers buy travel.

ALEXANDRIA, VA, LONDON, UK – In an effort to promote the travel agent community, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has entered into a unique partnership with ITN Productions to produce a news and current affairs-style program about the exciting and ever-changing travel industry.

The program, to be called Travel Agents Taking Off, will be an in-depth, online program specifically aimed at explaining what travel consultants do and how consumers buy travel. It will highlight the latest tourist destination hotspots, as well as the new trends and technological innovations that are impacting and shaping the travel sector across the industry. This news-style program will feature interviews with leaders and journalists, alongside news items and editorial profiles of key industry organizations and regions across the sector.

ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby, in this kick off video, explains that ASTA is looking at new ways to promote professional ASTA agents to consumers. "Consumers are deluged with information on the Internet. In fact, the average consumer goes to 27 different websites before making a travel decision," Kerby said. "This type of program reminds the traveling public that there is only one source out there for cutting through the Internet clutter and tailoring a trip toward the individual needs of a traveller, and that is a professional travel agent."

Over the past three years, research conducted by an independent firm has shown that U.S.-based consumers more and more are embracing the expertise that only a travel agent provides in planning and booking travel. In fact, in preliminary results for the 2016 study released on May 2 by ASTA, research firm TNS Global found that agents are saving consumers on average $452 per trip, and four hours of time.

ITN Productions' Head of Industry News, Simon Shelley said, "ITN is delighted to be partnering with the American Society of Travel Agents, particularly when there is so much happening within the travel industry. We're excited to embark on this project to engage professionals from the sector and foster a collaborative effort to develop an accessible and sustainable industry."

Travel Agents Taking Off will debut at the ASTA Global Convention (AGC) September 25-28 in Reno Tahoe. Shortly after ASTA rolls out the red carpet for an inspirational speech by hero pilot Sully Sullenberger, whose life will be featured in a new movie starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood, ITN will offer popcorn and refreshments for an evening at the movies with AGC attendees. The premiere of Travel Agents Taking Off comes at the conclusion of AGC on Sept. 28. Registration to AGC for the press is complimentary. Travel agents sign up today and use code: VISION to receive $75 off

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