Alexandria, VA, July 17, 2015 – The American Society of Travel agents (ASTA) applauds the MAST Travel Network for recognizing the important work the Society does on behalf of the agency community by renewing and expanding its landmark agreement to pay a portion of ASTA membership dues for all MAST members. MAST, comprised of 210 agencies in the Midwest U.S. and Canada, was the first consortium to sign such an agreement last June and has not only renewed that agreement, but also expanded it to a two-year deal.
“We thank all MAST members, and particularly President and COO John Werner, for recognizing all we do to promote and defend the travel agency community,” said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. “ASTA has now more than doubled the number of MAST members we represent, showing the value they place in our work, and we look forward to welcoming more of these agencies into the ASTA family.”
In response, Werner said, “We have been very happy to see that MAST members are joining ASTA and understand the importance of building a stronger industry with a bigger voice.”
Under the two-tier structure with MAST, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., the consortium pays a portion of individual annual ASTA membership dues, reducing the total cost paid by the agency to $149 for agencies with annual sales volume of under $5 million, and $249 for those with annual sales volume above $5 million.
MAST was the first consortium last year to pave the way financially for its members to join ASTA and gain full use of all the ASTA tools and resources available to help its members boost sales, further their education and protect their business. This agreement was later followed by customized agreements with Signature Travel Network, Travel Leaders Franchise Group and Virtuoso.
ASTA continues to offer educational and networking events, marketing opportunities and new products to its members to help support, grow and protect the profession, such as the Travel Agency Regulatory Compliance Course that ensures agencies provide consumers correct information thus avoiding stiff penalties. ASTA also offers regularly occurring webinars and other education courses, as well as events such as an International Destination Expo and the upcoming ASTA Global Convention in Washington, D.C., Aug. 29-Sept. 1 that will include numerous destination training workshops and specialist courses for agents. The full conference program is available online at ASTA.org.
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.