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New ASTA Survey Details Profit Barriers

August 11, 2010 By: George Dooley

ASTA’s newly released Financial Benchmarking Report found that, despite two years of reduced profits, survey participants feel optimistic about 2010 and expect to see profits increase to 2007 levels.

“Knowing where you stand against the competition can really make a difference when it comes to running a successful agency,” said ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo. “Benchmarking reports such as ASTA’s 2009 Financial Benchmarking Report, give travel agencies the tools to improve and update their operations and determine whether their products are the best revenue-generating mix for their business model.”

Among the findings of ASTA’s studies:

*    Revenue as a percentage of sales has been fairly consistent between 2006 and 2008.
*    Cruises, tours and FIT have the highest revenue per transaction.
*    Service fees and commissions are the highest revenue categories for air and cruises, respectively.
*    The sale of cruises, tours and travel insurance offer the largest average commissions.
*    Personnel and rent/mortgage are agencies’ largest expenses.
*    Unlike average sales per FTEs, average revenue per FTEs does not increase with company size suggesting that operating expenses are affecting profits at larger agencies.

The full report is available for purchase for $549 to non-members. ASTA Allied members pay $349 while Premium members receive the full report at no cost as part of their membership. Travel agent members receive a complimentary two-page summary of the report; those interested in receiving the full study receive a discount and pay only $99.

The ASTA Research Family is comprised of a representative sample of ASTA member travel agency owners and managers. The report indicates a 95 percent confidence with an error rate +/- 5.1 percent.

For further information: contact Melissa Teates, ASTA’s director of research, as [email protected].


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