American Society of Travel Agents

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Logo of the American Society of Travel Agents

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is a trade association which was formed to represent and defend the business and regulatory public policy interests of travel intermediaries, including travel agencies (including traditional "brick and mortar" agencies, online portals, mega- and corporate agencies, and small and mid-market businesses) and tour providers (including wholesalers and operators). The headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States; it is a US Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(6) tax-exempt not-for-profit entity.[1]

Its members include travel agents, intermediaries, and supplier companies who offer travel products and services such as tours, cruises, hotels, destinations, tourist bureaus, ground transport, car rentals, local guides and hosts. ASTA aims to act as an advocate for travel agents, the travel industry and the traveling public.


The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) was founded on April 20, 1931 in New York City as the American Steamship and Tourist Agents Association. ASTA changed its name to the American Society of Travel Agents in 1944.[1] On January 26, 2000, ASTA acquired the assets of The National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents, Inc. (NACTA) which is now a membership subsidiary, called National Association of Career Travel Agents since 2009. NACTA represents independent travel agents, cruise-oriented agents, home-based travel agents and outside sales travel agents.[citation needed]

ASTA supported the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014 Act (H.R. 4450; 113th Congress), a bill that would extend the provisions of the Travel Promotion Act of 2009 (Pub.L. 111–145), which established the Corporation for Travel Promotion (also known as Brand USA), through September 30, 2020, and impose new performance and procurement requirements on the corporation.[2][3] ASTA President Zane Kerby said that the bill "is essential to marketing the United States as a desirable destination for international tourists, conferences and business."[3]

Executive committee[edit]

ASTA maintains an Executive Committee to handle most association decisions.[citation needed]

2016-2017 Executive Committee

  • Zane Kerby, MBA — President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Jay M. Ellenby — Chairman of the Board (Ellenby is President of Safe Harbors Business Travel Group, Bel Air, Maryland)
  • Dave Hershberger — Vice Chairman (Hershberger is President of Prestige Travel, Inc./Travel Leaders, Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Eric Maryanov — Treasurer (Maryanov is President of All Travel, Los Angeles, California)
  • Jennifer Wilson-Buttigieg -- Corporate Advisory Council Chair (Wilson-Buttigieg is Co-President of Valerie Wilson Travel, New York, New York)


Most members are based in the USA. ASTA is organized under New York State Corporation Law but located in Virginia, just outside Washington DC, to assist in its government and industry affairs.[1]

Voting members are only US-domiciled Travel Agent Members and Premium Members. According to ASTA bylaws (last revised in August 2009), ASTA has eight membership categories:[citation needed]

  • Travel Agent Members
  • Premium
  • International Travel Agency Company
  • International Travel Professional
  • Travel School
  • Allied Company (product, service and information suppliers to travel agencies)
  • Allied Associate
  • Honorary

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Entity Information". Division of Corporations. Secretary of State of New York. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
  2. ^ "CBO - H.R. 4450". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b "ASTA Applauds Introduction of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act of 2014". American Society of Travel Agents. Retrieved 23 July 2014.

External links[edit]