ASTA asks travel agents to call themselves ‘travel advisors’

ASTA travel agent to travel advisor.

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) have made a change to the term travel agent, asking agents to now call themselves “travel advisors.”

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ASTA said the term currently represents the position better than travel agent does.

“Today’s travel agents are no longer mere booking intermediaries. They have become trusted advisors—akin to financial planners and CPAs—who make the overall travel experience better and provide both leisure and business travelers maximum value for their travel dollar,” ASTA’s leaders and their partners said in a letter. “In order to fully realize the benefits of this change, however, it is critical that all industry stakeholders speak with one voice when it comes to describing our business.”

ASTA changed their own name in August of 2018 to include the “advisor” term.

“This name change, the Society’s first in almost 75 years, embodies the revitalization of our part of the travel industry that has been taking place for several years and sends a critical message to the traveling public and the broader industry,” ASTA explained.

The letter added, “The term “advisor” not only more accurately describes the value our members provide to consumers but also serves as a distinct declaration of who we work for: the traveling public. What’s more exciting is that the consumer media and, more importantly, travelers themselves are embracing this shift from agent to advisor.”

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ASTA went on to explain that only if all “industry stakeholders” make the change to the term advisor will they see the benefits.

“To that end, we are encouraging our member companies, supplier partners and anyone doing meaningful business through the travel advisor channel to add their name to the growing list of organizations (attached) that have made or are in the process of making the switch from ‘travel agent’ to ‘travel advisor’ in their consumer and trade communications,” they added. “We are experiencing a true renaissance in our industry, with consumers increasingly coming back to our members for the comparison shopping, unbiased advice, destination expertise and personal support that only a trusted travel advisor can provide. That said, terminology still matters and we hope you will join us as we move from agent to advisor.”

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