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The (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.
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. 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.
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. 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."
ASTA maintains an Executive Committee to handle most association decisions.
2014 Executive Committee
- Zane Kerby, MBA — President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- John I. Lovell, CTC — Chairman of the Board (Lovell is President of Breton Village Travel, Grand Rapids, Michigan)
- Roger Block, CTC — Vice Chairman (Block is President of Travel Leaders Franchise Group, Plymouth, Minnesota)
- Leo Zabinski, CTC, MCC, DS — Treasurer (Zabinski is President of Classic Travel, Hilton Head, South Carolina)
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