From Agent to Advisor – Open Letter to the Travel IndustryPress Releases - News - ASTA

January 24, 2019

Contact: Erika Ritcher

From Agent to Advisor – Open Letter to the Travel Industry

PDF Version

Dear Industry Colleagues:

In August 2018, our industry’s national trade association, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), announced to the world that it had rebranded as the American Society of Travel Advisors. This name change, the Society’s first in almost 75 years, embodies the revitalization of our part of the travel industry that has been taking place for several years and sends a critical message to the traveling public and the broader industry.

Today’s travel agents are no longer mere booking intermediaries. They have become trusted advisors — akin to financial planners and CPAs — who make the overall travel experience better and provide both leisure and business travelers maximum value for their travel dollar. The term “advisor” not only more accurately describes the value our members provide to consumers but also serves as a distinct declaration of who we work for: the traveling public. What’s more exciting is that the consumer media and, more importantly, travelers themselves are embracing this shift from agent to advisor.

In order to fully realize the benefits of this change, however, it is critical that all industry stakeholders speak with one voice when it comes to describing our business. To that end, we are encouraging our member companies, supplier partners and anyone doing meaningful business through the travel advisor channel to add their name to the growing list of organizations (attached) that have made or are in the process of making the switch from “travel agent” to “travel advisor” in their consumer and trade communications.

We are experiencing a true renaissance in our industry, with consumers increasingly coming back to our members for the comparison shopping, unbiased advice, destination expertise and personal support that only a trusted travel advisor can provide. That said, terminology still matters and we hope you will join us as we move from agent to advisor.

Together in travel,

Zane Kerby
President & CEO
Eric Altschul
Chief Executive Officer
ABC Global Services
Ernesto Lavandero
Director, U.S. Network
American Express Travel
Libbie Rice
Ensemble Travel Group
Chris Dane
Hickory Global Partners
Bobby Godwin
Vice President
Leisure Travel Alliance
John Werner
President & COO
MAST Travel Network
Alex Sharpe
President & CEO
Signature Travel Network
Ninan Chacko
Chief Executive Officer
Travel Leaders Group
Kathryn Mazza-Burney
Executive Vice President, Sales
Matthew Upchurch
Chairman & CEO
Mike Estill
Chief Operating Officer
Western Assoc. of Travel Agencies (WESTA)

Travel Industry Suppliers

& Beyond Holland America Line Quark Expeditions
Accor Hotels Hurtigruten Railbookers
AIG Travel Hyatt Hotels Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Allianz Insight Vacations Roadtrips
AmaWaterways Island Destinations Royal Caribbean
Amtrak Vacations Israel Ministry of Tourism Seabourn
Apple Leisure Group Journese Silvercar
Auberge Resorts Leisure Connect Silversea
Avis Luggage Free Special Needs Group
Beds Online Luxury Retreats Star Clippers
Belmond Marriott Swain
Carey International Medjet Trafalgar
Celebrity Cruises MGM Resorts International Travel 2
Travel Insured International ClubMed National Transaction Corp.
The Travel Corporation THOR Inc. Natural Habitat Adventures
Crystal Cruises UATP Dorchester Collection
Nobel House Hotels Uniworld River Cruises Exeter International
Onefinestay Viking Cruises G Adventures
Oceania Cruises Virgin Limited (Hotels) Hawaii Visitors &  Convention Bureau
Paul Gauguin Cruises Walks Hertz
Pleasant Holidays Way to Go Tours Hilton
Ponant Cruises Windstar Cruises Princess Cruises
 Yankee Holidays    

Consortia/Agency Networks

ABC Global Services Leisure Travel Alliance TRAVELSAVERS
American Express Travel MAST Travel Network Virtuoso
Ensemble Travel Group Signature Travel Network WESTA
Hickory Global Partners Travel Leaders Group  

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 Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at

Ensemble Travel Group OasisTravel Network Signature.jpg Virtuoso Amadeus Discover Puerto Rico Marriot Norwegian Alamo_Enterprise_National
American Airlines
Best Western
Royal Caribbean International
AIG Celebrity Logos logo Corp Msc Cruises Travel Insured Visit Anchorage Apple Leisure Group ARC Avis Budjet Carnival logo NTC Logo Sabre Travel network TTC Tramada Travelport Travelsavers
ASTA VTA 45% off June 20th - August 28th

ASTA Headquarters

American Society of Travel Advisors
675 N Washington St, Ste 490
Alexandria, VA 22314 U.S.A.