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ASTA: Changing the way the travel industry meets

ASTA: Changing the way the travel industry meets

ASTA is changing the way the travel industry meets with the newly revamped Travel Retailing & Destination Expo (Las Vegas, Sept. 11-13), its one-of-a-kind International Destination Expo (Lima, Peru, March 1-3, 2012) and highly segmented member meetings, bringing the industry’s topmost executives together under one roof for in-depth discussion.

“ASTA’s Travel Retailing & Destination Expo is upping the education ante with a complete overhaul of its sessions and speakers, thanks to a redesign by Bruce Tepper, MBA, CTC,” said ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar. “What’s more, no other organization can match our International Destination Expo, which sets the standard for experiential education and presages the next great travel hot spot for consumers.

“Beyond our on-site educational meetings, ASTA’s segmented member meetings, such as our Premium Member Summit and Corporate Advisory Council, gather the industry’s brightest minds together for high-caliber discussions and problem solving. When we come together, no other industry group has this kind of deep leadership experience in one room,” added Gonchar.

Among the new and enhanced features of ASTA’s Travel Retailing & Destination Expo (TheTradeShow) are:

*  a fresh take on travel agent education, focusing on high-tech, interactive seminars developed by industry expert Bruce Tepper;
*  the much sought-after Hosted Buyers program, which this year will offer complimentary registrations or accommodations to qualified agents from Hilton Hotels, the Bellagio, Starwood Hotels, the Aria Hotel and Vdara Hotel;.
*  exclusive events, such as the Advocacy Dinner and the Leadership Luncheon, a new event that will recognize leading industry entities and ASTA’s strongest supporters.
*  Going beyond the tried-and-true meeting location, ASTA is expanding its destination roster and for 2012 is moving the show to Los Angeles, and considering other destinations for future conferences.


On the international front, ASTA’s International Destination Expo goes beyond the expected with its unique focus on experiential learning and targeted events, offering the best in networking, entertainment and sightseeing opportunities. ASTA’s International Destination Expo, which takes travel agents to the next great destination each year, provides agents with a host of tools and resources to help them further their specialty and grow their market share, including:

*  a trade show, featuring local and international suppliers that can’t be found at any other trade show and that provides the inside track on new tours, marketing opportunities and client prospects;
*  networking events such as the International Travel Agents Summit that translate into future sales;
*  industry-recognized destination certification that can be used to showcase their expertise to their clients at home - now and in the future; and
*  complimentary sightseeing tours that take them to the places their clients want to visit.

When it comes to segmented member meetings, ASTA attracts the top executives from the trade’s leading organizations, be they highly-specialized boutique agencies or multi-level international firms. Through ASTA’s Premium Member Summits, for example, high-level representatives from every spectrum of the industry come together for exceptional networking opportunities, peer-to-peer exchange and in-depth, thought-provoking discussions on some of the industry’s most pressing issues.

“Each of these meetings allows for today’s top industry executives to actively participate in the events shaping the travel industry,” noted Gonchar. “They offer a rare opportunity to meet and participate in discussions that address the core issues defining our industry and its future.”

ASTA’s Corporate Advisory Council meetings provide a forum in which industry leaders from major travel agency consortia, franchise organizations and independent agencies can focus on the issues that will affect both their business and their customers. Today, this group, which was originally formed in support of positioning ASTA as the “one voice of the travel industry,” leverages its position within the industry to effect positive change for the travel agency community.