Highlights of the ASTA Annual Global Convention
Travel is back, and ASTA is back!
This was the message at ASTA’s AGC held this year in San Francisco. “The pandemic underscored not only the value of working with a travel advisor, but also the need for a strong national trade association,” said Zane Kerby, President & CEO of ASTA. “Our program is designed to support travel advisors who are meeting unprecedented travel demand.” With these words of encouragement from Kerby began 3 days of general sessions, workshops, networking events and a tradeshow.
Kerby went on to highlight ASTA’s recent accomplishments and changes over the past year. ASTA fought for grants and unemployment benefits in the Covid relief packages and took on the CDC to get the No Sail Order rescinded so that the cruise industry could get restarted. They persuaded congress to restart the Alaska cruise season by suspending the PVSA. And most recently, they petitioned the Administration to rescind the inbound Covid testing requirement and 80% of ASTA members said they saw a boost in business afterward.
ASTA has launched a new website that is modern, mobile friendly, easy to navigate and addresses their three audiences – 1) members, 2) the traveling public who want to connect with advisors, and 3) those who are considering a career in selling travel – all in an easy, scrollable way.
ASTA’s NEW CREDO
ASTA member travel advisors are globally recognized for their skill, competence, expertise, and professionalism in an increasingly complex travel ecosystem. ASTA member advisors regularly utilize educational resources and certifications to continuously increase their skill and knowledge. All ASTA members abide by the ASTA Code of Ethics, which protects the integrity of the travel industry as a whole, giving consumers confidence that they’re working with a true professional.ASTA travel advisors often charge clients professional fees, to reflect the value of the unique services they provide to their clients. We support this as a best practice.
ASTA’s annual advocacy dinner is its primary fund raising event for the support of ASTAPAC and their advocacy efforts. This year’s dinner, attended by 400 industry leaders, raised over $370,000 for the Advocacy Fund. Royal Caribbean, Carnival and NCL led the donations with 100k each, while Sandals contributed $5,000 and over 200 other people made donations.
Next March will be ASTA’s 2nd Annual River Cruise Expo held in Budapest. Delegates will have the opportunity to inspect 10 new ships from 8 river cruise companies. Pre and post cruises will also be available at industry rates.
Next year’s AGC will move up to May 2-4 and be held in Puerto Rico. This will be the first time in many years that the conference will be held outside of the continental U.S.. Puerto Rico is hosting 60 convention attendees for 2-night excursions to other parts of the island. They’ve also teased that an entertainer of Puerto Rican descent will join
the convention. Visit www.ASTA.org