ASTA Honors Top Travel Agents, Agency Groups for Advocacy Work

by James Shillinglaw


ASTA honored its most active members for their work in travel agency advocacy during a black tie dinner at the 2016 ASTA Global Convention in Reno, NV. Barbara O'Hara Advocacy Awards were presented to Roger Hale, president and CEO of ADTRAV Travel Management in Birmingham, AL, and to ASTA’s Midwest Chapter, for their work to promote travel agent causes.

Hale was honored for his ASTAPAC fundraising campaign, which has raised more than $2,500 from 46 employees year-to-date. ASTA’s Midwest Chapter was recognized for its PAC fundraising and grassroots work to prevent an expansion of Illinois’ sales tax to travel agency services. The chapter raised over $41,000 year-to-date through August with a 99% chapter participation rate.

In addition, for the first time two travel agency groups, Signature Travel Network and Virtuoso, were honored as 2016 ASTA Consortia of the Year in recognition for their support of ASTA and its mission to promote and defend the travel agency community. Signature, a travel agency cooperative, was the first group to mandate ASTA membership and has continued that program over the past year. Its members, including Signature president Alex Sharpe, also have been active in ASTA’s legislative lobbying campaign.

Virtuoso, the luxury travel-agency consortium, introduced a program to subsidize ASTA membership for its members, which has already led to 44 agencies joining the association, and provided its offices in Seattle for a key meeting between ASTA members and a local member of Congress. 

Awards also were given to local chapters in recognition of their support for ASTAPAC and grassroots advocacy campaigns. ASTA's Long Island Chapter won the Chapter Advocacy Award for its successful PAC fundraising campaign, which raised $71 per member on average with an 89% chapter participation rate.

ASTA also presented the inaugural ASTA Paul M. Ruden Award to Marc Casto, president and CEO of Casto Travel in San Jose, CA. Casto is the outgoing chair of ASTA’s Corporate Advisory Council, and the award was presented by incoming chair Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg of Valerie Wilson Travel in New York, NY (and a member of the Travel Market Report Advisory Board). The award honors Paul Ruden, ASTA's former executive vice president, legal and industry affairs, who retired last September after more than 25 years on ASTA’s staff (and now writes a monthly column for TMR). 

  0
  0
Tip of the Day

We, as advisors, have to start looking at different avenues that will pay better for us, so you can continue to at least be profitable.

Nicole Mazza, Travelsavers

Daily Top List

The Best Travel Pillows

1. Travelmate Memory Foam Neck Pillow

2. Travelrest Memory Foam Travel and Neck Pillow

3. Cabeau Evolution Memory Foam Travel Pillow

4. J-Pillow

5. Bcozzy Chin Supporting Travel Pillow

Source: Jetsetter

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=0ffb8b62-8a96-e911-be17-782bcb66a2f2)

What You Need to Know About Selling Cruises to Foodies

Travelers today increasingly seek out authentic culinary experiences, wanting to go beyond restaurant lists and celebrity chefs, to experiences that are more varied, more three-dimensional, immersive and real.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
ASTA Needs Advisor Support for California IC Bill
ASTA Needs Advisor Support for California IC Bill

The proposed bill, California AB5, would require California travel agencies to convert their independent contractors (ICs) into full-time employees.

Two Tour Operators Disappear, Leaving Travel Advisors and Customers in the Lurch
Two Tour Operators Disappear, Leaving Travel Advisors and Customers in the Lurch

This is a cautionary tale about a travel supplier who went out of business and left customers and travel agents in the lurch for thousands of dollars — and how to protect yourself so you do not become the next victim.

Travel Agents Balance Supporting the Dominican Republic and Their Clients
Travel Agents Balance Supporting the Dominican Republic and Their Clients

Once again, advisors struggle to combat bad news about a destination they love, while ensuring that their clients are fully informed. And a social media campaign by travel advisors is underway.

The Risks Travel Advisors Face Vetting Local Vendors
The Risks Travel Advisors Face Vetting Local Vendors

It’s one of the most difficult tasks a travel agent can outsource: Handing clients off to a local, in-market vendor. Former travel advisor Jennifer Borgh offers her tips on how to do it wisely.

ASTA Launches ‘Vacation Do Over’ Contest
ASTA Launches ‘Vacation Do Over’ Contest

Travelers can enter to win a $10,000 dream getaway planned by a professional travel advisor.

More Highlights from Travel MarketPlace East 2019
More Highlights from Travel MarketPlace East 2019

From tips about selling your agency to ideas on how to handle publicity, here are more highlights from Travel MarketPlace.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks