Research Papers - Publications - ASTA

Research Papers

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ASTA's research reports include both research conducted by ASTA and research commissioned from third parties. The Travel Agency Benckmarking Series are based on surveys conducted with our Research Family panel of agencies. Recent research commissioned by ASTA includes the Packaged Travel study co-designed with PhoCusWright.

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2015
  • March 6, 2015 — 2014 Labor & Compensation Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This study finds an increasing issue for many travel agencies is the ability to hire new employees.

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2014
  • December 12, 2014 — 2013 Financial Benchmarking Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    Agency finances have improved compared to 2009. Average agency sales have returned to pre-downturn levels.

  • December 12, 2014 — 2014 Independent Agents Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This report profiles the independent agent population. There is much variability in this population.

  • August 25, 2014 — 2013 Global Distribution System (GDS) Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The GDS reports covers travel agency distribution trends related to GDS usage from how agencies book travel to how they negotiate their contract. Agencies evaluating their current GDS contracts and industry suppliers wanting to understand GDS usage better will find this report essential.

  • June 3, 2014 — 2013 ASTA Niche Markets Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    Access to online outlets and social media has increased the number of agents and agencies that can market their niche expertise. 73 percent of ASTA agencies report that they have expertise in at least one niche market.

  • March 20, 2014 — 2013 Technology & Web Usage Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This 43-page report covers technology issues including software and mobile tools used, internet booking patterns, website content, social media policy and online booking tools used.

  • March 13, 2014 — 2014 Value of Travel Agents Study Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Value of Travel Agents study surveyed U.S. leisure and business travelers on their travel agent usage and satisfaction with travel organized by an agent. Additionally, this 271-page report includes demographics on travelers including trips taken, sources of travel information and how they book.

  • March 12, 2014 — ASTA Green Guide for Suppliers Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The ASTA Green Guide for Suppliers provides educational material on understanding and marketing sustainable travel to travel agents and agencies. The report highlights best "green" practices and marketing tips as well as information on becoming an official ASTA Green Member.

  • March 12, 2014 — ASTA Green Guide for Travel Agents Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The ASTA Green Guide for Travel Agents provides educational material on understanding and marketing sustainable travel. The report highlights best "green" practices and marketing tips as well as providing information on becoming an official ASTA Green Member.

  • January 29, 2014 — 2013 Supplier-Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Supplier–Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Reports examines how travel agents chose suppliers and book different travel segments. The type of knowledge agents need from suppliers when promoting travel is also explored.

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2013
  • December 11, 2013 — 2012 Marketing & Customer Communications Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    Only half of agencies have a marketing plan with nineteen percent planning to develop one in the future.

  • December 11, 2013 — 2012 Service Fee Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    2012 Service Fee ReportChanges in market forces have resulted in more agencies charging service fees compared to the early 2000’s.

  • October 31, 2013 — 2012 Financial Benchmarking Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    Agency finances have improved compared to 2009 and 2010. Average agency revenue and sales have almost returned to pre-downturn levels.

  • October 31, 2013 — 2012 Labor & Compensation Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This study finds an increasing issue for many travel agencies is the ability to hire new employees.

  • April 30, 2013 — 2012 Global Distribution System (GDS) Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The GDS reports covers travel agency distribution trends related to GDS usage from how agencies book travel to how they negotiate their contract. Agencies evaluating their current GDS contracts and industry suppliers wanting to understand GDS usage better will find this report essential.

  • February 10, 2013 — 2012 Independent Agents Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The report profiles the independent agent population. Explored are typical commissions split, sales volume, business mix and relationships with suppliers and host agencies of this much varied community.

  • January 18, 2013 — 2012 Technology and Web Usage Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This 45-page report covers issues ranging from the use of technology including software and mobile tools to internet booking patterns, social media usage and website content.

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2012
  • December 12, 2012 — 2012 Supplier-Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA’s Supplier-Travel Agent research examines how agencies are selecting suppliers, what is the most important goal for agencies, which distribution channels are being used and uncovers a recurring theme which can determine which suppliers will have the advantage.

  • November 26, 2012 — 2011 Service Fee Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Service Fee Report covers the average service fees for air, cruise, tours, car, hotel, rail and other bookings. It also looks at fees for other services such as assisting with visa applications. Included in the report is revenue from service fees as a percent of total revenue and the percentage of agencies that also have consultation fees.

  • October 18, 2012 — ASTA Green Guide for Supplier Members Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The ASTA Green Guide for Supplier Members provides educational material on understanding and marketing green travel to travel agents and agencies. The report highlights best "green" practices and marketing tips as well as information on becoming an official ASTA Green Member.

  • October 4, 2012 — 2011 Labor & Compensation Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted this labor and compensation study to assist travel agencies in benchmarking their compensation, benefits and hiring practices. This information can be used to benchmark your own compensation and benefits, and may help you improve your hiring practices. A free 5 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

  • July 18, 2012 — 2011 Financial Benchmarking Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted the financial benchmarking survey to assist travel agencies in benchmarking their financial performance. This 50-page report covers agency sales, revenue, expenses, and profits. The sales, transactions, and revenue data are broken out by specific travel segment.

  • April 12, 2012 — PhoCusWright's Travel Agency Distribution Landscape Report, 2009-2013 Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA assisted PhoCusWright in updating their 2008 Travel Agency Distribution Landscape Report. The new report was published in March 2012 and is available for purchase.

  • February 9, 2012 — 2011 Independent Agents Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The 2011 Independent Agents report includes typical booking methods, host agency relationships, average sales, and the top travel suppliers used. This report will help you better understand the Independent Agent's business operations and their place in the travel market.

  • January 18, 2012 — 2011 Global Distribution System (GDS) Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The GDS reports covers travel agency distribution trends related to GDS usage from how agencies book travel to how they negotiate their contract. Agencies evaluating their current GDS contracts and industry suppliers wanting to understand GDS usage better will find this report essential.

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2011
  • December 15, 2011 — 2011 Technology & Web Usage Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted this annual study to better understand changes in technology and web usage by travel agencies. The report covers the use of technology including software and mobile tools, internet booking patterns, website content and online booking tools.

  • November 16, 2011 — 2011 Supplier-Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This report assists travel agencies and suppliers in understanding and benchmarking typical agency-supplier business arrangements and booking methods by travel segment.

  • September 26, 2011 — 2010 Labor & Compensation Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted this labor and compensation study to assist travel agencies in benchmarking their compensation, benefits and hiring practices. This information can be used to benchmark your own compensation and benefits, and may help you improve your hiring practices. A free 3 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

  • September 26, 2011 — 2010 Service Fee Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Service Fee report assists both corporate and leisure agencies in benchmarking their service fees. ASTA conducted this annual study to better understand changes in service fees. The report looks trends in fees charged, how fees are collected, and how customers are informed about fees.

  • June 21, 2011 — 2010 ASTA Financial Benchmarking Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted the Financial Benchmarking survey to assist travel agencies in benchmarking their financial performance. The report looks at productivity per agent, revenue by source, operating expenses, and ratios like revenue per FTEs.

  • May 16, 2011 — 2010 Global Distribution System (GDS) Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    As travel distribution continues to evolve, GDS suppliers have felt much pressure to change with the times or become obsolete...

  • May 16, 2011 — Project 85 -- The Drive Market Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The information from the Project 85 study will provide the data needed for agencies to determine if there is an opportunity in serving the drive market.

  • March 17, 2011 — 2010 Technology & Web Usage Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The results of the Technology and Web survey reflect that most agencies are very comfortable with standard technology.

  • February 15, 2011 — 2010 Leisure Trends Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This survey found leisure agencies doing much better in 2010 than in 2009. Agencies reported the strongest rebound in sales for Rail, Hotel, Tour/Package/Group, and Insurance. Their expectations for 2011 are mostly positive.

  • February 14, 2011 — 2010 Corporate Agency Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Corporate Agency Report covers transaction-fee versus management-fee contracts. It looked at which special services trigger an additional fee or which ones are covered under the contract. It also looks at other fees the agency may charge.

  • February 8, 2011 — 2010 Independent Agents Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This report profiles Independent Agents and gives you the information you need to better understand the Independent Agent's business operations and their place in the travel market.

  • January 26, 2011 — 2010 Supplier-Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This report assists travel agencies and suppliers in understanding and benchmarking typical agency-supplier business arrangements and booking methods by travel segment.

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2010
  • November 24, 2010 — 2009 Service Fee Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Service Fee report assists both corporate and leisure agencies in benchmarking their service fees. ASTA conducted this annual study to better understand changes in service fees. The report looks trends in fees charged, how fees are collected, and how customers are informed about fees.

  • November 9, 2010 — 2010 Corporate Agency Report - Executive Summary Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA and The Beat conducted this survey to provide insight into changes in distribution, economic norms, and technology use among corporate travel agencies in relation to the marketplace shift.

  • October 3, 2010 — 2009 Labor & Compensation Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted this labor and compensation study to assist travel agencies in benchmarking their compensation, benefits and hiring practices. This information can be used to benchmark your own compensation and benefits, and may help you improve your hiring practices. A free 3 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

  • August 9, 2010 — 2009 ASTA Financial Benchmarking Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Financial Benchmarking report gives an agency the ability to analyze The revenue data in this report can be used by agencies to determine if their products are the best revenue-generating mix for their business model.

  • May 7, 2010 — 2009 Global Distribution System Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    As travel distribution continues to change, the GDS suppliers have felt much pressure to change with the times or become obsolete. The three GDS providers have been moving forward with plans to add...

  • April 16, 2010 — 2009 Technology & Web Usage Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The 2009 ASTA Technology and Web Usage Report covers issues including the use of technology, internet usage for research, internet booking patterns, and website design and usage.

  • January 14, 2010 — 14th Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Study - Full Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The 14th Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Study of Community Marketing (CMI) contains a detailed statistical analysis of the 4,700 gay and lesbian consumers who reside in the United States. The report includes CMI’s annual gay and lesbian destination rankings, effects of the recession, and a list of the top travel brands outreaching to the market.

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2009
  • November 18, 2009 — International Travel: Non-Resident Inbound Visitations Trend Overview Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    Non-resident inbound visitations to the U.S. has grown over the past 20 years, but there have been shifts in the originating countries.

  • November 18, 2009 — International Travel: U.S. Resident Outbound Visitations Trend Overview Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    In the past 20 years, the number of U.S. resident outbound visitations has been fluctuating. Overall, there has been growth in outbound visitations and some shifting in where U.S. citizens visit.

  • November 16, 2009 — 2009 ASTA Travel Agency Business Trends Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Agency Business Trends Report looks at changes agencies made to weather the past year as well as changes planned for the future. The report benchmarks plans for operations and employment for leisure and corporate agencies.

  • November 11, 2009 — 2009 NACTA Independent Agents Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This report shows several shifts in the independent agent population, specially in what is the primary source of income for agents.

  • October 27, 2009 — 2009 Supplier-Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    A strong relationship between suppliers and travel agents is imperative if both sides want to increase their businesses. This report found that agents that engage in a preferred supplier relationship often do so based on the supplier’s reputation and quality of their product.

  • August 12, 2009 — 2008 Marketing & Customer Retention Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This report will assist agencies in understanding how well they are retaining clients, what marketing vehicles have been most successful, and how many new customer leads they should be generating a month.

  • July 22, 2009 — 2008 Travel Agency Service Fees Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The decreasing availability of air commission revenue forced agencies to begin charging service fees for air tickets to cover their costs and ensure profitability. Over time, agencies have expanded their service fees in terms of the amounts charged and the number of services for which they charge professional fees. A free 3 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

  • July 7, 2009 — 2008 Labor & Compensation Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted this labor and compensation study to assist travel agencies in benchmarking their compensation, benefits and hiring practices. This information can be used to benchmark your own compensation and benefits, and may help you improve your hiring practices. A free 2 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

  • June 11, 2009 — U.S. Packaged Travel Landscape 2006-2010 Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The study examines growth of the packages travel industry between 2006 and 2010. Specific segments are also broken out including escorted tours, packages, FIT and group.

  • May 28, 2009 — 2008 Financial Travel Benchmarking Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Financial Benchmarking report gives an agency the ability to analyze their business against norms in the industry. The report looks at productivity per agent, revenue versus sales, revenue yield by different revenue sources, operating expenses, and ratios like revenue per FTEs. A free 2 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

  • February 26, 2009 — 2008 Global Distribution System (GDS) Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The report reveals that while the use of a Global Distribution System (GDS) declined in the past nine years, the vast majority of agencies still use a GDS system. For some key segments, like air, the GDS remains the primary booking medium despite distribution changes. A free 2 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

  • January 7, 2009 — 2008 Technology and Web Usage Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The results of the Technology and Web survey reflect that most agencies are very comfortable with standard technology. However, they have not embraced Web 2.0 marketing techniques yet. A free 2 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

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2008
  • December 16, 2008 — 2008 NACTA Independent Agents Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The 2008 NACTA Independent Agents survey shows several shifts in the independent agent population. Selling travel is the primary source of income for only 34.3% of respondents.

  • September 8, 2008 — 2008 Travel Agent Usage and Fee Sensitivity Study Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA has commissioned a study with the travel industry’s leading consumer research firm, D.K. Shifflet & Associates (DKS&A), to obtain the industry’s first look at how consumers perceive and value travel agency service fees.

  • August 22, 2008 — 2007 Travel Agent Service Fees Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The decreasing availability of air commission revenue forced agencies to begin charging service fees for air tickets to cover their costs and ensure profitability. Over time, agencies have expanded their service fees in terms of the amounts charged and the number of services for which they charge professional fees. A free 2 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

  • June 24, 2008 — 2008 Supplier Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted its annual Supplier – Travel Agent Relationship Marketing survey to assist travel agencies and suppliers in understanding and benchmarking typical agency-supplier business arrangements. This 18-page report was conducted in March 2008 using the ASTA Research Family. A free 2 page summary is available to all members, a full report is available for purchase.

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2007
  • November 19, 2007 — 2007 Technology & Web Usage Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted this annual study to better understand changes in technology and web usage by travel agents. Survey data was collected through the 2007 ASTA Research Family in June 2007. This 23-page report covers issues ranging to use of technology, internet usage for research, internet booking patterns, and Web site design and usage.

  • November 6, 2007 — 2007 NACTA Independent Agents Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    The Independent Agents report profiles Independent Agents and provides data on their experience in the travel industry, how they book travel, how they split commissions if they have a host agency, changes in their overhead costs, what their revenue share across travel segments, and much more. The report gives you the information you need to better understand the Independent Agent's business operations and their place in the travel market.

  • July 20, 2007 — Why Students Do Not Choose Travel As A Career
    The ASTA Foundation funded a research study by The State University of New York at Morrisville. The report provides insights as to why students do not choose travel as a career.

  • March 1, 2007 — 2006 Supplier - Travel Agent Relationship Marketing Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    ASTA conducted its first annual Supplier – Travel Agent Relationship Marketing survey to assist travel agencies and suppliers in understanding and benchmarking typical agency-supplier business arrangements. This 20-page report was conducted in September 2006 using the ASTA Research Family. This report includes survey data on preferred supplier relationships, booking channels used, incentives and the usefulness of supplier education programs.

  • March 1, 2007 — 2006 Technology and Web Usage Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This 26-page report was compiled to help agencies evaluate their business practices in regards to technology, the internet and Web sites. It includes benchmarking data on Internet sites, online booking rates by travel segment, website practices (designing, maintenance, updating), website features, and website generated business. Trends in usage are also covered.

  • February 1, 2007 — 2006 ASTA GDS Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This popular report delivers provides the most up-to-date information on GDS system usage by travel agents. The report looks at market share, costs, contracts, incentives, penalties, and more.

  • February 1, 2007 — 2006 Financial Benchmarking Report Members Only - Please Login Premium Members Only - Please Login
    This survey found that agencies have changed their business model by shifting revenue sources and decreasing operational expenses. In analyzing reported revenue data, you can see the shift to service fees for some products as commission income has decreased.

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