The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) reports it is bringing together small- and medium-sized travel agencies that want to either enter the managed business travel market, or expand their current presence at its first Business Travel Exchange (BTE). The day-long meeting will be held Wednesday April 30, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hilton Old Town in Alexandria, Va.
“I can’t think of a better time for agencies that want to increase their corporate travel business, or for those to start learning about managing corporate travel, to get into this market,” said ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby.
Business travel is expected by several industry experts to experience steady, healthy increases this year and into 2015, ASTA said. A study released earlier this month by the Global Business Travel Association, for example, predicts a 7.1 percent rise in business travel spending this year to $293.3 billion.
On the BTE agenda is an inspirational success story from industry veteran Gloria Bohan, president and CEO of Omega World Travel, who will talk about how she turned a small retail travel agency into one of the largest retail, corporate, government and online agencies in the country.
Industry experts will also give advice on how to work with ground transportation, how to create a managed hotel program for companies of any size, and what technology is available to agents to help them reach and serve more corporate clients, ASTA said.
“It really is about learning different skill sets to manage corporate accounts,” said Kerby. “This is a sales model that is transaction-based by nature and operates on a different fee structure.”
The Business Travel Exchange is open to all ASTA and non-ASTA member agencies. Special registration prices are available for ASTA and National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) members. See the Registration Page on ASTA.org for more details on how to register.