Washington, D.C.– The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is the world’s leading association of travel agents (also referred to as advisors), representing 160,000 travel advisors across the country, 98 percent of which are small businesses. This week, Members of Congress heard from the frontline of the travel industry as more than 200 travel advisors from 47 states convene in Washington, D.C. for ASTA Legislative Day on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.
On Tuesday, June 21, from 9:30 am – 11:00 am ET, the Society kicked-off their lobbying day with an event at the National Press Club where they unveiled new travel trend data, followed by a panel of travel CEOs who discussed the travel industry recovery, the challenges we face with inflation, supply and demand, and the opportunity on the horizon.
Despite the economic pressures, consumers are spending more on travel than anything else and 67% of travelers have plans to travel before the end of the year. In fact, 41% of consumers are planning to spend even more on travel in 2023, according ASTA’s consumer research. As a result of the surge in demand and the new world of travel, 71% of consumers think travel is more complex. Our research indicates nearly half of travelers (45%) agree that using the services of a professional travel advisor would put their mind at ease. The rescinding of the U.S. inbound testing order gave the travel agency community a boost, with approximately 80% of travel advisors telling ASTA that they expect their sales to increase compared to the first half of the year.
While some bright spots have started to emerge, the fact of the matter is that there are economic and industry pressures pushing on all sides of the travel industry. Almost 80% of Americans agree that travel is an important driver of the U.S. economy, yet the disruptions over the past weekend in the air travel system tell us that we’re far from prepared to meet the surge in demand.
Travel industry executives talked through the industry’s challenges, trends, and opportunity. Opening remarks and keynotes presented by:
- Zane Kerby, President, and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors
- Eric Drésin, Secretary General, European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Associations
- Jon Last, President of the Sports & Leisure Research Group
Travel industry discussion panelists:
- Marc Casto, President, Leisure Americas, Flight Centre Travel Group and ASTA’s Chairman of the Board of Directors
- Matthew D. Upchurch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Virtuoso
- Kareem George, CTA, Principal of Culture Traveler and ASTA Board Member
- Kathryn Mazza-Burney, Chief Sales Officer, TravelSavers
- Moderated by: Denise Jackson, President & CEO of Balboa Travel Management
Topics We Covered:
- Travel industry recovery from the perspective of some of the largest travel leaders and agency owners covering both mid-market and luxury segments.
- Supply and demand issues, inflation, and the overall travel economy.
- Travel trends in 2022 and beyond for both leisure and business travel
Research available HERE. Photos available HERE. (Please credit Jason Dixson Photography)>
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