Alexandria, VA, May 1, 2015 – Leisure Travel Alliance of Austin, Texas, a loyal ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) Premium Member, is the latest consortia member to increase its financial contribution to the association through a new dues structure that was revised at the most recent Board of Directors meeting in February.
“ASTA would not be where it is today if it weren’t for the commitment to the entire travel agent community being shown by many of our largest members, including Leisure Travel Alliance and its President, Stuart Godwin,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA President and CEO. “I am grateful for members such as Stuart, a loyal member since 1972, who recognize what we do to promote and defend them, and agencies of all sizes.”
Noting that he lost count long ago of the myriad of tax bills introduced in the Texas legislature that would have taxed agents out of business, Godwin said that “all of these initiatives were successfully challenged by ASTA and Texas travel agents. Small business owners don’t have the time or the expertise to do this on their own. In our world, ASTA is the watchdog organization that does it for us. This is the primary reason we support ASTA and why we encourage our travel agency and agent affiliates to do the same.”
ASTA appreciates the commitment Leisure Travel Alliance and others such as Travel Leaders, Virtuoso, Signature, Ensemble and MAST have made to the future of the association. They recognize no one else is the go-to representative defending them at the state and federal level, and promoting them to the traveling public.
“It essential that travel agents have a strong and healthy trade organization that has a professional legal and government affairs staff,” said Godwin. “A famous Texan once said ‘No man’s pocket book is safe when the Texas Legislature is in session.’ This bit of wisdom applies to all 50 states, the U.S. Congress and government regulators. Even before agents can oppose harmful legislation or support beneficial legislation, someone has to first monitor thousands of state and federal proposals.”
ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) 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, it is the leading global advocate for travel agents, the travel industry and the traveling public. ASTA’s history of travel 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. For more information, visit ASTA.org.
ASTA’s sister association, The National Association of Career Travel Agents, represents a professional community of independent travel agents ready to assist the traveling public.