ASTA Premium Business Summit Highlights Industry Challenges & Possibilities

Written by: Amanda Bailey on June 30, 2017

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As a host travel agency, staying informed on the policies and trends that impact travel agents is a key responsibility. It allows KHM Travel Group’s staff to anticipate the challenges our agents may face, and the needs our agents may have in the future.

Attending events, such as the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Premium Business Summit, gives our staff an idea of how shifting political and economic landscapes are impacting travel and tourism.

KHM Travel’s President and CEO Rick Zimmerman, Director of Agent Development and Engagement Marie Smith, and Industry Affairs Specialist Bill Coyle participated in the ASTA Premium Business Summit in Washington D.C., which was held June 4th-6th, 2017.

The Business Summit was held at the famed Watergate Hotel in DC.

This is the first time KHM Travel Group has attended the Business Summit, and our team came away with valuable knowledge and resources to impart on to our agents.

“Being engaged in the Premium aspects of ASTA helps us bring back information to our agents,” says Marie. “It’s essential to know what’s going on in the business.”

The sessions at the Summit featured speakers from both the political and business spheres. They heard from Charlie Cook, a writer and expert on American polls and elections. A discussion on cybersecurity brought to light the potential threat of cyber crime and how it is relevant to travel businesses.

Sponsors, like Royal Caribbean, gave presentations throughout the Summit too. However, rather than just promoting their products, they touched on various factors impacting the state of the travel industry.

Vicki Freed of Royal Caribbean also gave a special presentation at the Summit on the relationship between the cruise lines, consumers and travel agents.

Among the most valuable session for Marie, who is a key resource on compliance for our agents, was the “Travel Court with Judge Tony” the following day. Here, ASTA Premium members acted as jurors in mock trials that represent the complex and real issues that surface in today’s travel industry.

“We also learned about what matters most to Americans traveling today,” says Marie. “Relaxation and family are the most important things. Another big trend is that more millennials are falling in love with cruising.”

 

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In addition to hearing from industry leaders, the event gave our staff the opportunity to network with others at the host agency level between sessions and at the reception on Monday evening.

“ASTA is looking for go-tos to get involved, and we are one of those go-tos,” says Bill. “We want to stay engaged with them, and they want to engage with us.”

KHM Travel Group will also be represented at the ASTA Global Convention, the organization’s largest annual event, which takes places in San Diego later this summer.


If you’d like to learn more about starting a rewarding travel agent career from home with KHM Travel Group, fill out the form on the right of the screen or call 1-888-611-1220 for our free Travel Agent Information Guide.