NACTA to Explore Partnerships With U.S. Host Agencies
The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) will meet with U.S.-based host agencies this week to discuss the possibility of replicating the trade group’s new partnership with a Canadian host.
Under the new partnership, NACTA will provide affiliates of Vancouver-based WD World Travel with access to its education and training programs for independent agents.
After NACTA announced the partnership last week, U.S. hosts expressed interest in developing similar arrangements, NACTA vice president Ann van Leeuwen told Travel Market Report.
New model for NACTA
The partnerships with WD World Travel is NACTA’s first with a host agency. “This is a new model” for NACTA, van Leeuwen said. “WD is taking our membership fee and packaging it upfront along with its host agency fees.
“This is showcasing how NACTA can work with host agencies to complement their services and programs – in this case, WD being strong with technology and NACTA strong in training and education.”
Interest from U.S.-based hosts
NACTA has received calls and emails from U.S.-based hosts expressing strong interest in similar partnerships for their members, van Leeuwen said.
As a result, later this week she will attend the PATH (Professional Association of Travel Hosts) Symposium in Las Vegas, where she will meet with representatives from member host agencies.
Addressing industry problems
The WD World Travel announcement sparked the realization that NACTA and host agencies “should be working together more aggressively to start thinking about ways to address the industry’s common problems,” van Leeuwen said. She cited the lack of new talent as a major example.
The dearth of education and training programs for independent agents in Canada is a problem the industry faces there, she added.
WD World Travel approached NACTA about gaining access for its affiliates to NACTA Seminars at Sea, Land Fams, road show training programs and national convention.
NACTA also plans to replicate its U.S. networking services for Canadian members. The organization will set up two local chapters where independents can network with fellow NACTA members at chapter meetings, trade shows and webinars.
The partnership with WD World Travel is NACTA’s first concerted foray outside the U.S. (although there already are 29 NACTA members in Canada).
The trade group for independent travel businesses is seeking to become more global in scope by leveraging ASTA’s international membership base, van Leeuwen said. NACTA is a wholly owned affiliate of ASTA.