June 24, 2015
Alexandria, VA, June 23, 2015 –The American Society of Travel agents (ASTA) is proud to announce that Virtuoso®, the leading global network of luxury travel agents and suppliers, is investing up to $10,000 to ensure its U.S.-based agents are as up-to-date as possible on important government regulations impacting their profession. Virtuoso is reimbursing its members for taking ASTA's 2015 Travel Agency Regulatory Compliance Course, which includes an instructional video, regulatory handbook and 40-question test concerning major federal statutes and Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations to ensure consumers are given correct information and agency owners avoid stiff penalties.
"Today's travel agent needs to be knowledgeable on all aspects of the industry, including complex DOT regulations, to ensure they're in compliance with pricing and advertising rules," says Virtuoso Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch. "More importantly, though, is the need to educate the traveling public on their rights, and we strongly feel that by participating in ASTA's Regulatory Compliance Course Virtuoso agents will be able to better guide their clients toward making informed choices."
"This course is critical in keeping agents and agency owners from incurring DOT penalties that have ranged from $10,000 to $180,000," said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. "ASTA members such as Virtuoso are stepping up to the plate and recognizing the value of this new compliance course for their network members."
While Virtuoso was able to secure a discounted rate, the course is available to all ASTA members on ASTA.org/training for $25, and to all non-members for $150 until July 31 (regular price is $225). The course, which gives travel agents two chances to pass and be certified as compliant, covers everything they need to know on regulations such as baggage fees, airline code shares and hazardous materials disclosure rules, advertising and pricing rules and insecticide spraying on aircraft rules.
Any ASTA member agency interested in a bulk deal for 500+ agents to take the course is encouraged to contact Michelle Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virtuoso will be working with its Members directly to begin facilitating the course sign-up process.
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.