ASTA Global Convention Charts the Course for Travel Agents

Written by: Amanda Bailey on September 13, 2017

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August 27-29 members of KHM Travel Group’s team joined travel agents, travel industry executives and other industry experts at the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Global Convention in San Diego, California.

Last year, the conference impressed our staff with its innovative sessions on advocacy, leadership, compliance and sales. This year’s conference also provided valuable insights into the current state of the industry, as well as what the future holds for travel professionals.

The conference also emphasized the important role ASTA plays on both the political stage and in the business realm.

Of course, we were thrilled to receive the Host Agency Partner of the Year award at the ASTA Awards ceremony held during the Convention. The Host Agency Partner of the Year is awarded to the the host agency that has gone above and beyond in supporting ASTA, and advancing its mission to promote and defend the travel agency community. Thanks again to ASTA for this honor!

KHM Travel Group’s President Rick Zimmerman, Vice President of Sales Geoff Cox, Director of Agent Development and Engagement Marie Smith, and Industry Affairs Specialist Bill Coyle were all in attendance.

Bill, as an experienced travel agent, is a long-time ASTA member. He says he enjoys attending the conference and seeing how enthusiastic the industry is about its future.

“After 20 years belonging to ASTA, I feel now — more than ever — ASTA is in tune and in touch with the travel agent community,” Bill adds.

Industry executives from all major cruise line and tour companies attend the Global Convention, so it’s a unique opportunity to learn first-hand and gain perspective from decision-makers and thought-leaders in the field.

Marie found the “Soaring Above the Glass Ceiling Session” to be among the most memorable. A panel made up of female executives from across the travel industry told their stories of overcoming obstacles and achieving success in a largely male-dominated field.

ASTA also conducts its own research and is an important resource for travel industry trends and stats.

Our team also took away valuable information about ASTA’s new Verified Travel Advisor designation. This new certification course will be available to ASTA members and will provide an additional marker of a travel agent’s knowledge and professionalism.

Monday night’s ASTA Advocacy Dinner was another highlight of the Convention. Attendees had the chance to spotlight its members’ role in the legislative process and to network in a black-tie setting.

“The ASTA advocacy event was very beneficial,” says Geoff. “It’s important for agents to know and understand how ASTA works for them behind the scenes in Washington D.C. If they can’t support by being a member, they can help with contributions to the ASTAPAC.”

Because KHM Travel Group is an ASTA Premium Member, our agents have access to the latest in legal and governmental updates, sales strategies, product knowledge and business tools. Current KHM Travel Agents can learn more about the benefits of ASTA membership in the Portal.

Bill meeting with fellow ASTA Chapter Presidents over breakfast.

ASTA is the world’s largest association of travel professionals. Its members include travel agents and the companies whose products they sell such as tours, cruises, hotels, car rentals, etc. They are the leading advocate for travel agents, the travel industry and the traveling public.


For more on becoming a travel agent with us, request our free information packet! Just fill out the form on the right side of the screen or call 1-888-611-1220.