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$10+ Million Agencies a Growing Segment, Says ASTA

( ASTA Agency Profile report finds segment grew by 24 percent since 1998

Alexandria, Va., May 8, 2007— A recent survey of ASTA members found that travel agencies with sales of between $5 million and $10 million make up the fastest growing segment of ASTA’s membership. In 1998, seven percent of ASTA members reported sales volume in this category while in 2006, that figure rose to 10.1 percent for a 44.6 percent increase overall. The 2006 ASTA Agency Profile report also found that the number of agencies who reported sales volumes as being either between $4 million and $4.9 million or more than $10 million has each grown by 24 percent during the same time period.

Another trend that revealed itself as a result of this study is that between 2000 and 2006, the sales mix of U.S. travel agencies has undergone a major shift. In 2000, agencies reported that 56.1 percent of their sales mix came from air sales. Six years later, that figure dropped by 56 percent, meaning that air sales made up only 24.7 percent of an agency’s overall sales mix. In contrast, sales of both cruises and tours saw a strong increase in percentage share, making up 26.2 percent and 31.3 percent of agency sales respectively in 2006.

The report also confirmed the growth of home-based travel agencies. In 2002, 7.3 percent of ASTA travel agencies defined themselves as being home-based. By 2006, that number rose to 17.4 percent. Correspondingly, agencies located on main streets and in strip malls fell by 6.3 percent and 2.4 percent respectively during the same time frame.

Other data of note include:
• The average number of full-time employees is 8.1, although 42.6% of respondents reported having only between one and two employees.
• The average number of independent contractors (IC) is 8, although more than a third (35.6%) of travel agencies reported having no ICs.
• Eighty percent (80.1%) of ASTA agencies reported using an Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) identification number.
For further information about the study, please contact Melissa Teates, ASTA’s director of research, as href=""> The ASTA Agency Profile report can be downloaded at no charge. Simply visit and complete a simple registration form.

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.

Contact: Kristina Rundquist/Ayanna Canty

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