ASTA, the world's leading association of travel professionals, is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Our work encompasses every aspect of the travel experience.

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.

ASTA represents approximately 7,500 travel agencies and supplier travel companies employing over 90,000 people. Our members are in every U.S. state and Congressional district and range from large business-focused travel management companies such as Carlson Wagonlit and BCD Travel to household-name online agencies like Expedia



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Press Kit 2023



Since our founding in 1931 as the American Steamship & Tourist Agents Association, ASTA’s mission has been to promote professionalism and advocate for its members. As modes of transportation evolved, so did ASTA, widening our focus and renaming ourselves the American Society of Travel Agents in 1944. Then, reflecting the shift from booking agent to trusted advisor, in 2018, ASTA became the American Society of Travel Advisors. Here's a decade-by-decade look at some highlights from our storied past.

  • Cruise Ship

    ASTA was formed in 1931 as The American Steamship & Tourist Agents Association. At a time when agents were booking about 85 percent of all steamship travel, ASTA was urging ship lines to adopt agent-friendly policies and working to persuade hotels and railroads to pay agent commissions.

  • 1940's

    When World War II curtailed all but essential travel, ASTA members fought for the survival of their association, and in 1946, when airlines cut agent commissions, we were there to fight for its members. Reflecting shifts in the industry, we changed our name to the American Society of Travel Agents.

  • 1950's

    In the 1950s, ASTA won a 27-year battle for rail commissions. Plus, as part of fulfilling our mission to encourage and enhance professionalism in the industry, ASTA introduced the travel agency industry's first basic training tool, a home-study course. 

  • 1960's

    In the 1960s, ASTA made impressive progress in education. We held our first School at Sea and opened seven travel schools. In 1968, when President Johnson announced plans to restrict travel outside of the United States, ASTA waged the largest grassroots campaign in our three-decade history.

  • 1970s

    The 1970s brought airline deregulation, leading to increased airline competition and the first rise in air commissions in 25 years. ASTA established ASTA Marketing Services, Inc. (AMSI), negotiating member discounts on quality products and services and the ASTA Political Action Committee (ASTAPAC) to help support our advocacy efforts. 

  • Hero62

    In the ‘80s, we continued our emphasis on education, holding Trainingfest, School on Rails, School at Sea and School on the Road. The decade was a period of significant growth for travel agents and the industry.  

  • Hero21

    In 1995, seven airlines capped agency commissions on domestic tickets. We responded by filing an anti-trust lawsuit and settled out of court for $86 million. Plus, advocating for agents and consumers, ASTA drafted and promoted an Air Travelers Bill of Rights which led to the Consumer Access to Travel Information Act.

  • Hero24

    In 2007, we re-launched our brand with a new logo and membership structure and enhanced benefits, including a redesigned website, member tools for advocacy, advertising and public relations campaigns, increased opportunities for global networking and improved online and home-study courses.

  • 2010s

    ASTA advocacy efforts scored major victories at the federal and state levels, saving the travel agency community more than $300 million. Among other initiatives, ASTA led the fight to prevent airlines from passing along merchant fees to travel agents and ultimately, their clients. 

  • ASTA
    Ocean Cruise


    Carnival Cruises 

    Celebrity Cruises 


    Explora Journeys 

    Holland America Line 

    MSC Cruises 

    Norwegian Cruise Line 

    Princess Cruises 

    Royal Caribbean 




    Virgin Voyages 

    Windstar Cruises 




Recognizing that the traveling public depends on ASTA travel advisors and other ASTA providers to guide them honestly and competently in their travel decisions, all ASTA members pledge to conduct their business activities in a manner that promotes the ideal of integrity in travel and, as an express condition of membership in the association, to act in accord with ASTA’s Code of Ethics

ASTA policies are established by an elected National Board of DirectorsThe Board then elects the ASTA Executive Committee, including a president/chairman, vice president/secretary and treasurer, from among its members. ASTA’s CEO, as an ex-officio, is a non-voting member.

Click here for ASTA's Board of Directors

Featured News

From travel tips and trends to hands-on advice from ASTA members and media coverage of the industry, here are some of our favorite stories.

  • ASTA Accuses American Airlines of Intentionally Misrepresenting its Position on NDC to Divert Attention from the Real Problem

    After reading American Airlines’ response to ASTA’s complaint to the Department of Transportation, one thing is clear...

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  • Virgin Voyages’ commitment to sustainable marine fuel among other initiatives led to their win.

    The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is proud to announce Virgin Voyages as their 2023 ‘Green Partner in Travel Award’ winner.

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  • Don't Trust Your Travels to an Instagram Influencer

    In the age of social media, with wanderlust-inducing Instagram feeds and YouTube vlogs abound, travelers have more options than ever before to plan their dream vacations.

    Read Article
  • American Society of Travel Advisors Launches Rebranded ‘The Travel Advisor Conference’

    The ASTA Travel Advisor Conference will re-focus on educating attendees with elite business skills taught by top names like entrepreneur Venus Williams and former FBI Lead Negotiator Chris Voss.

    Register Now
  • Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect All-Inclusive Resort

    With so many all-inclusive resorts out there, it can almost feel impossible to narrow down your choices. Here's what the experts recommend.

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  • ASTA Partners with Signature on Industry Training

    The consortium has signed a three-year agreement to utilize ASTA’s Roadmap to Becoming a Travel Advisor as part of its new-to-industry training program

    Read Article
Celebrate our


As part of our mission to promote excellence within the trade, every year, ASTA presents prestigious awards to recognize professionals who make lasting contributions to the travel industry and exhibit extraordinary support for the trade. Awards fall into four main categories:  

Supplier Awards, voted on by the ASTA membership, celebrate companies and individuals who go above and beyond to recognize and showcase the value of the agency community.

Membership Awards showcase the superstar commitment of top ASTA member chapters, chapter leaders and travel agency consortia and franchise organizations that work to keep the travel industry strong and show the greatest support for ASTA. 

Advocacy Awards recognize those who have exhibited a huge commitment to ASTA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the travel agency community at all levels of government, within the industry, and before the traveling public.  

Other Awards include the Journalist of the Year Award, which goes to the member of the media who best recognizes and explains the benefits travel advisors and ASTA provide to the traveling public and the industry.

2022 Award Winners
American Society of Travel Advisors

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