Alexandria, VA, May, 16, 2016 –The American Society of Travel Agents (AGC) will present travel agent members and suppliers with a record number of crystal awards and other recognitions during award ceremonies at this year's ASTA Global Convention (AGC) at the Peppermill Resort in Reno Tahoe Sept. 25-28. In conjunction with these efforts, ASTA drew on its relationships on Capitol Hill and arranged for a personal AGC invitation to ASTA members from U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.), a member of the Senate Travel and Tourism Caucus, who notes that travel and tourism is critical to Nevada's economy, and hopes to see as many agents as possible in "The Biggest Little City in the World" in September.
"We want to recognize the superstars of our industry, both our frontline travel agents and agency owners, who go above and beyond in caring for their customers," said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. "We also want recognized the top agent-friendly supplier members. ASTA's new supplier awards are voted on by ASTA travel professionals. I can't think of a higher honor than being recognized by one's everyday business partners," he said.
Agents attending a separate event this week, the ASTA Maui Showcase, were given special incentives to sign up early for next year's AGC, which Kerby announced will be held Aug. 26-29, 2017 in San Diego, CA at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina.
A noticeable change in this year's awards program in Reno is the addition of 10 individual supplier awards that will be given to companies that recognized the agency community for the value they provide. These will be voted on by ASTA members (ASTA members will be sent a ballot in the coming weeks containing all the awards up for membership vote). In addition to an overall Allied Member of the Year (company) and Allied Member Representative of the Year (individual), supplier awards also will go to:
The top award for agents every year is the ASTA Extra Mile Award. Sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car this year, the award goes to a travel agent who has gone the extra mile in the last 12 months to provide exceptional service for a client in a new and creative way that goes above and beyond the normal course of business. Agents can self-nominate, nominate each other or ask a client to write in on their behalf. The top five will go to the membership for a vote. The top three stories will be read on stage at AGC, and one award will be given.
ASTA also will induct a new member into the "ASTA Travel Hall of Fame" to honor an individual whose career has made an enduring impact on the development and expansion of the industry as a whole. This is the highest honor that ASTA bestows on either an agent or an allied member (individual, not company). This award will be decided on by the senior staff at ASTA headquarters.
ASTA also will be giving away two prestigious awards at the black-tie Advocacy Dinner. The event is taking place Sept. 27, 7-10:30 p.m. at the Nevada Museum of Art with Dave Hilfman, United Airlines' Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, serving as Master of Ceremonies. The Barbara O'Hara Advocacy Award will go to two individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support ASTA's advocacy efforts, leading grassroots campaigns and ASTAPAC fundraising. The Chapter Advocacy Award also will be given during the dinner to the chapter that has shown the strongest support for advocacy. ASTAPAC's highest contributors, our "SuperNova" donors, also will be recognized.
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.