Travel Hall of Fame - About ASTA - ASTA

Travel Hall of Fame

The Travel Hall of Fame was established in 1971 during the 41st World Travel Congress in Sydney, Australia. The objective of the Travel Hall of Fame is to recognize and honor permanently those individuals whose careers have made an enduring impact on the development and expansion of the travel and tourism industry. It is the highest honor that ASTA bestows.

Candidates for the Travel Hall of Fame must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to be nominated:

  • The individual must have made a significant contribution to the travel and tourism industry.
  • Honoree should have completed, or mostly completed, the work for which he/she is being honored.
  • Representation in the Travel Hall of Fame can be from any domestic or international segment of the travel & tourism industry.
  • Must have worked in the travel industry for at least 15 years.

Kay Urban - 2011 Hall of Fame

Kay UrbanKay Urban, former president and CEO of Amadeus Americas at Amadeus Technology Group SA, was inducted into ASTA’s Hall of Fame at ASTA’s 2011 Travel Retailing & Destination Expo. The award is the highest honor that ASTA presents to individuals. ASTA’s Travel Hall of Fame Award was established in 1971 during the 41st World Travel Congress in Sydney, Australia. Its purpose is to recognize and honor individuals whose careers have greatly influenced the development and expansion of the travel and tourism industry.
“Kay’s vital role in the travel industry cannot be understated,” said ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar. “For more than 30 years, Kay’s dedication to the travel agency distribution system was unparalleled -- a fact which showed in every aspect of her business dealings from how she treated her employees and the travel agency industry at-large, to her support of ASTA and its members.”
Prior to her retirement in March 2011, Urban had served as CEO and president of Amadeus Americas at Amadeus Technology Group SA since September 2009 and as the president and CEO of Amadeus North America Llc., a division of Amadeus Global Travel Distribution SA, since 2004. As such, she was responsible for Amadeus’ Miami-based regional headquarters serving the United States and Canada, including all aspects of the customer experience. Her responsibilities included sales and market management, product management, commercial operations and customer support and training for Amadeus North America’s travel agency, multinational, cruise line and specialty customers. She has more than 25 years of experience in travel distribution.
Prior to assuming her position as president and CEO, she was the executive vice president and COO for the company. In 2001 and 2002, she held dual roles, also serving as director of global customer support for Amadeus worldwide. Urban has also served as vice president of customer support and operations, where she initiated many leading-edge customer services, such as online learning and support tools.
Urban began her travel industry career in 1977 as a reservations agent for Eastern Airlines and moved into her first managerial role as manager of customer integration. In 1982 she joined Industry Automation, which subsequently became computer reservation company, System One. Beginning in 1986 at System One, Urban held such positions as manager of strategic planning for support and training and director of customer support. She subsequently advanced through several key executive management positions of increasing scope and responsibility, through System One's acquisition by Amadeus in 1997.

Urban has been named for five years by Travel agent Magazine as one of the “Most Powerful Women in Travel.”  She has also served as an agenty Board member for Travel Com Expo and was recognized by ACTE as a Distinguished Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Past Recipients

2010 - Kathryn Sudeikis, CTC
2009 Winner - U. Gary Charlwood
2008 Winner - Al Minkoff
2000's 2006 - Don Daley  2007 - Maryilyn Carlson
2005 - Alan Fredericks 2004 - Matthew Upchurch
2003 - Jimmy Murphy 2002 - Mario Perillo
          Gordon “Butch” Stewart
2001 - Joel Abels
          Lord Colin Marshall
2000 - Fred Kassner
1990's 1999 - Curtis L. Carlson
          M. William Dultz
1998 - Frank Olson
          Vasco da Gama
1997 - Tyler Tanaka
          J.W. Marriott, Jr.
1996 - Murray Vidockler, CTC
          Marco Polo
1995 - Warren S. Titus
          Charles Kuralt
          Karl Baedeker
1994 - James Dubin
1993 - Edward and Marilyn Hogan 1992 - Alexander W. Harris
          Mohamed El Sakka
1991 - Ted Arison
          Thomas Maupin
1990 - Milton A. Marks, CTC
          Walter "Freckles" Smith
          Arthur C. Tauck, Sr.
          Arthur C. Tauck, Jr.
1980's 1989 - Joseph R. Stone
          Roy #38; Estelle Kelley
1988 - Charles Gillett
          Sir Edmund Hillary
          Charles B. West, CTC
1987 - Christopher Columbus
          Donna Tuttle
          C.E. Woolman
1986 - Elwood Ingledue
          Lars-Eric Lindblad
1985 - George G. Brownell, Jr
          Walt Disney
          Thor Heyerdahl
1984 - Edward Carlson
          Henry Flagler
          Lord Charles Forte
          Sen. Daniel Inouye
1983 - Thomas Cook
          Elrey Jeppesen
          Joop Strijkers
1982 - Dr. Christopher Kraft
          John Lewis
          J. Willard Marriott
          Per A. Norlin
1980-81 - Sir Samuel Cunard
               Eric Friedheim
               Charles Lindbergh
               Mohan Oberol
               Harvey Olson
1970's 1979 - Dr. Arthur Haulot
          Sir William Hildred
          Captain William Matson
          Irwin Robinson
1978 - Eugene Fodor
          Jose Melia
          William Allan Patterson
          Wilbur & Orville Wright
1977 - Som Nath Chib
          Amelia Earhart
          Tetsuzo Imumaru
          Brendan O’Regan
1976 - Wayne Parrish
          Frances Knight Parrish
          Sir Frank White
          C. Kemmons Wilson
1975 - Max Adrian Blouet
          Donald Wills Douglas
          George Eastman
1974 - Miguel Aleman
          Robert Hemphill
          James Michener
          Edward Rickenbacker
1973 - William Allen
          Neil Armstrong
          C.R. Smith
          Lowell Thomas
1972 - Gilbert Grosvenor
          Conrad Hilton
          Timothy O’Driscoll
          Juan T. Trippe


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ASTA Headquarters

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