ASTA transferred to its subsidiary the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents (Nacta) ownership of Travelsellers.com, a year-old, Web-based venture that sells identifying numbers to non-ARC agents.
The move transforms Travelsellers.com into a wholly owned subsidiary of Nacta, which serves home-based and independent agents. The transfer took place Jan. 1, but ASTA waited until Jan. 29 to disclose the move.
ASTA launched Travelsellers.com as an alternative source of identifying numbers for non-ARC agents, in the belief that agents, rather than suppliers, should determine the legitimacy of nontraditional retailers.
ASTA president Richard Copland said, “Ninety-percent of the people in this business are sellers of travel who may or may not be brick-and-mortar locations. So the original goal was to set [Travelsellers.com] up. That has been accomplished. Now it makes sense to move it over to Nacta.”
“There is a clear market need to have an independent, travel agent-run organization that will issue tracking numbers to travel sellers,” said Joanie Ogg, president of Nacta, in a statement.
Travelsellers.com is a similar venture to ARTA`s Travel Retailers Universal Enumeration and ARC`s Reservation Service Provider numbers.
In all cases, IATAN sells the identifying numbers to the ventures, which in turn issue them to agents.
The numbers are important to agents that, for one reason or another, may not have an International Airlines Travel Agent Network or ARC number that allow suppliers to identify their sales.