ASTA STANDS FOR TRAVEL

ABOUT US

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

A QUICK TOUR OF

OUR HISTORY

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
    1930's

    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
    1980s

    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
    1990s

    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
    2000s

    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

    Azamara 

    Carnival Cruises 

    Celebrity Cruises 

    Cunard 

    Explora Journeys 

    Holland America Line 

    MSC Cruises 

    Norwegian Cruise Line 

    Princess Cruises 

    Royal Caribbean 

    Scenic 

    Seabourn 

    Silversea 

    Virgin Voyages 

    Windstar Cruises 

     

LEARN ABOUT ASTA'S

LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE

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.

  • What It Takes to Plan A Journey of a Lifetime

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  • Sponsored Editorial - 10 Unique Ways Nexion Travel Group Works for You

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  • Discover The Paradise of Kā’anapali Beach Resort

    Historically a playground for Hawaiian royalty, Kā’anapali Beach Resort stands as a beacon of tropical luxury and natural beauty.

    Read Article
  • Sponsored Editorial - Enhanced Globus Tools and Training Empowers Advisors

    A brand refresh highlights new immersive programs and advisor support that caters to a wide variety of consumer interests, budgets, and demographics, explains Camille Olivere, Chief Sales Officer.

    Read Article
  • Sponsored Editorial - NCL Connect: An Easy New Way to Build Your Business

    John Chernesky shares the how and why of NCL’s powerful new marketing tool—and offers some special tips!

    Read Article
  • Travel Advisor Tech Startup Tern Wins Entrepreneur of the Year Competition and $10,000 Prize

    Three finalists competed at the Travel Advisor Conference May 29-31 in Dallas, TX, where audience members voted for the award winner.

    Read Article
  • Travel Advisor Conference Concludes with the Society’s Most Prestigious Awards and Record-Breaking Funds Raised for Advocacy Efforts

    Suppliers and members contributed $500,000 at the annual Advocacy Dinner, where Matthew Upchurch and Vanessa McGovern took home the top honors.

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  • ASTA Appreciates American Airlines Recognizing the Value of the Travel Agency Distribution Channel, Supports Robert Isom’s Rollback of NDC and AAdvantage

    Zane Kerby, President and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), issues the following statement in response to the recent news that American Airlines will adjust course on AAdvantage and NDC implementation

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Celebrate our

INDUSTRY AWARDS

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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