ARTA Launches Agent ID Site

The Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA) has  announced the launch of the Travel Retailer Identification Program (TRIP) website (, and  outlined the key components of its Accredited Travel Retailer (ATR) designation and the TRIP Travel Agent ID Card.

TRIP's ATR designation and Travel Agent ID Card were announced last year and are designed to foster new and more accessible ways for travel suppliers to reach, communicate and identify legitimate professional travel retailers, TRIP president Bruce Bishins said.

Structured as a non-profit corporation with a governing board of directors composed of both travel agents and travel suppliers, TRIP will be the industry's standard-bearer for maintaining and implementing an accreditation program, Bishins said. It focuses on travel agencies that do not participate in either the ARC or IATA BSP settlement plan system.

The TRIP program will provide rigorous, but attainable criteria for travel agents to obtain the new ATR designation, Bishins said. The Travel Agent ID Card will be introduced for all qualifying travel agents, regardless of whether or not the agent is affiliated with an ARC or BSP-participating travel agency.

Both the ATR and the Travel Agent ID Card criteria are fully detailed on the TRIP website. Fees will be competitive with other programs and will be finalized by the TRIP Board of Directors in Fall 2008. Travel agencies, travel suppliers, travel agency associations and travel agency marketing and franchise groups are invited to attend the TRIP Industry Orientation Meeting August 19 in Atlanta.