Hopes to Encourage More Agents Who Are Newer to the Business to Join
Alexandria, VA, April 11, 2016 –Saying travel agents need a strong national trade association to fight for them at the state and federal levels, Austin-based Leisure Travel Alliance (LTA) is offering its members a special membership deal in the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA).
LTA President Stuart Godwin, CTC, a long-time ASTA supporter, noted that one of the reasons he is promoting ASTA is because of a "consistent record of either making legislators understand the industry's position, or successfully deflecting and defeating virtually every major federal and state government initiative to impose on the travel agent community capricious tax and regulatory measures."
LTA member agencies from now through March 2017 may join ASTA for $199 instead of $325 if they have annual gross sales of up to $5 million; $399 instead of $530 for agencies with gross sales of $5 million to $10 million, and $599 instead of $735 for those with gross sales of $10 million to 25 million. In addition, host agency LTA Central Contractors (formerly known as International Tours of Houston) is allowing its independent contractors (ICs) to sign a two-year individual membership deal for $248, a $150 savings off of ASTA's new $199 Independent Contractor Membership. ASTA in the next two months will be implementing a previously announced new Independent Contractor membership category for ICs who sign a two-year agreement and contracts for an ASTA Premium member.
Other reasons given by LTA for making the financial investment in ASTA membership include the fact that many senior agents have retired and many new agents who have filled their roles have not yet been introduced to ASTA. Godwin says he wants to encourage "newer agents" to join in the advocacy effort and enjoy all the benefits of ASTA membership. For example, education and training resources and the sales leads they receive from ASTA's TravelSense.org website.
"We are proud to have a loyal member such as Stuart recognize the important work we do here at ASTA to promote and defend LTA member agencies and all travel agents," said Zane Kerby, ASTA President and CEO. "Since we signed our first membership subsidy deal in June 2014, our largest partners have shown their support by making similar arrangements, many of them renewing for a second year after realizing the return on their investment," Kerby said.
ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) 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, it is the leading global advocate for travel agents, the travel industry and the traveling public. ASTA’s history of travel 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, visit ASTA.org.
ASTA’s sister association, The National Association of Career Travel Agents, represents a professional community of independent travel agents ready to assist the traveling public.