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ASTA Premium Membership Continues to Expand Its Ranks

ASTA Premium Membership Continues to Expand Its Ranks ( Las Vegas, Sept. 10, 2007— Industry representation at the state and federal levels and with suppliers such as the Airlines Reporting Corp., has proven to be the key value proposition for ASTA’s Premium Travel Agency Members. Travel agencies in search of top-level service and concierge-style benefits continue to join ASTA’s Premium Travel Agency membership category, proving again the relevancy of ASTA to the industry and those dedicated to the business of selling travel. Today, the number of Premium Members stands at 125.

Through their membership, Premium Members participate in networking and policy input that helps to shape ASTA’s agenda going forward. Premium Members also contribute, through ASTA, to the industry as a whole. Projects undertaken on behalf of Premium Members lead to new learning about travel business issues that is, in turn, shared with all ASTA travel agent members.

“The positive feedback we have received since we first launched our Premium Membership has been overwhelming, especially in response to our victories at the state level in fighting anti-travel agent legislation. Premium Members have been amazed at the type and quality of services they receive as part of their membership,” said Cheryl Hudak, CTC, ASTA president and CEO. “It confirms what we at ASTA have known all along, that we made the right changes, at the right time and for the right reason.”

Standard for Premium Members is access to in-depth research reports and white papers on such topics as independent contractor laws, developing a privacy policy, employee classification and credit card surcharge laws. Premium Members are also able to have articles from customized for use on their Web sites or in newsletters, in addition to basic public relations assistance.

Among the custom services ASTA has provided to its Premium membership are human resources benchmark data comparing travel agents to comparable jobs and
benchmark data on independent contractor compensation programs. Additionally, ASTA’s Research Department has developed a customized client marketing survey. Other examples of custom assistance are consulting services for a corporate account proposal and for an ownership contract.

Lee Rosenbluth, owner, Rosenbluth Vacations (Philadelphia) had this to say of his Premium Membership: “The new ASTA has exceeded my expectations with its thorough research and timely response on various issues. ASTA clearly understands the need to be effective and efficient on behalf of all of its members.”

Similarly, Premium Member Karen Dunlap, CEO of Beltsville, Md.-based Travel-On Ltd., said: “I am convinced our ASTA Premium Membership will keep our employees better connected. ASTA’s unified voice equally represents both leisure-based agencies as well as corporate travel management companies. I intend to spread the word that ASTA stands for Agencies Should Take Advantage!”

ASTA Premium Members are also privy to special events held throughout out the year, designed to give them the opportunity to share business experiences and concerns and learn from one another’s successes. An example is the twice-annual Premium Member Business Summit.

For more information on Premium Membership, contact Jesse Weikel at href=""> or 703.739.6885.

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 703-739-8710

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