The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is the largest association of travel professionals in the world. Members include travel agents as well as companies that sell tours, cruises, hotels, and car rentals. As an advocate for the traveling public, the travel industry, and travel agents, ASTA offers a variety of services such as consumer complaints handling, business and government affairs information, publication, education, news, and other resources for travel professionals such as an E-Library.
ASTA has won two Magellan Awards in 2009 and six Magellan Awards in 2008. The company also manages the nations largest travel agent trade show featuring a number of networking events and other events. These include:
- The ASTA Annual Meeting
- NACTA Annual Meeting
- International Travel Agent Summit
- International Chapter Presidents Council Meeting
- Retail Travel summit
- National Tourist Offices (NTO) Summit
- ASTA Advocacy Dinner
- Premium Business Session
- Agent Education
- Supplier Education
- Young Professionals (YPS) Seminar
- Travel Blogger Show
The American Society of Travel Agents has a code of ethics in place to reinforce the responsibilities of travel agents, the International Travel Agency Company, and the International Travel Agent Associate Members. According to the official ASTA website, The Code of Ethics an Responsibilities are as follows:
1. Accuracy. ASTA members will be factual and accurate when providing information about their services and the services of any firm they represent. They will not use deceptive practices.
2. Disclosure. ASTA members will provide in writing, upon written request, complete details about the cost, restrictions, and other terms and conditions, of any travel service sold, including cancellation and service fee policies. Full details of the time, place, duration, and nature of any sales or promotional presentation the consumer will be required to attend in connection with his/her travel arrangements shall be disclosed in writing before any payment is accepted.
3. Responsiveness. ASTA members will promptly respond substantively to their clients’ complaints.
4. Refunds. ASTA members will remit any undisputed funds under their control within the specified time limit. Reasons for delay in providing funds will be given to the claimant promptly.
5. Cooperation. ASTA members will cooperate with any inquiry conducted by ASTA to resolve any dispute involving consumers.
6. Confidentiality. ASTA members will treat every client transaction confidentially and not disclose any information without permission of the client, unless required by law.
7. Affiliation. ASTA members will not falsely represent a person’s affiliation with their firm.
8. Conflict of Interest. ASTA members will not allow any preferred relationship with a supplier to interfere with the interests of their clients.
9. Compliance. ASTA members shall not have been convicted of a violation of any federal, state and local laws and regulations affecting consumers. Pleas of nolo contendere, consent judgments, judicial or administrative decrees, or orders, and assurances of voluntary compliance and similar agreements with federal or state authorities shall be deemed convictions for purposes of these provisions.
Responsibilities of All Members:
1. Notice. ASTA members operating tours will promptly advise the agent or client who reserved the space of any change in itinerary, services, features or price.
2. Delivery. ASTA members operating tours will provide all components as stated in their brochure or written confirmation, or provide alternate services of equal or greater value, or provide appropriate compensation.
3. Credentials. An ASTA member shall not, in exchange for money or otherwise, provide travel agent credentials to any person as to whom there is no reasonable expectation that the person will engage in a bona fide effort to sell or manage the sale of travel services to the general public on behalf of the member through the period of validity of such credentials. This principle applies to the ASTA member and all affiliated or commonly controlled enterprises.
American Society of Travel Agents Contact
1101 King Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
Email: [email protected]