Alexandria, VA, January 17, 2017 – In an effort to better advance its mission and advocate for the travel agency community before the traveling public, the American Society of Travel agents (ASTA) today announced the creation of a Consumer Awareness Committee made up of industry representatives with particular expertise in marketing, social media and building consumer awareness.
“Raising consumer awareness regarding the value of using a travel agent is a critical part of ASTA’s mission,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA President & CEO. “While we have substantially ramped up our consumer awareness activities over the past year, creating two consumer-facing videos, making upgrades to TravelSense.org, our consumer-facing website, we have only begun to scratch the surface. We appreciate our volunteer committee members stepping forward to invest their time, energy and expertise as they help us chart the best path forward in 2017 and beyond.”
The objectives of the Consumer Awareness Committee include: providing guidance for ASTA’s diverse consumer awareness initiatives; assisting ASTA in understanding the implications of emerging technologies and media with the potential for raising agents’ public profile; aiding in the development of an industry-wide, sustained and coordinated travel agency consumer awareness campaign; and providing an opportunity for members to share best practices and otherwise stay abreast of industry marketing activities.
The committee’s launch comes in the midst of a resurgence in consumer travel agent usage. A 2016 independent consumer research project commissioned by ASTA showed that U.S.-based consumers more and more are embracing the expertise that only a trusted travel agent provides in planning and booking travel. According to the study, 22% of consumers booked through a travel agent, the highest share reported in the past three years, with Millennials leading the pack in both travel agent usage (30%) and likelihood to recommend their agents to friends and family (45%). The study also found that agents are saving consumers on average over $300 per trip, as well as three hours of planning time.
ASTA’s Consumer Awareness Committee is comprised of the following individuals:
The new Consumer Awareness Committee convened for the first time in November 2016, and will continue to meet on a regular basis to plan for 2017 initiatives.
For questions regarding ASTA’s Consumer Awareness Committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.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.