ASTA Unveils New Membership Fees, Logo

NEW YORK - Travel Agent was on hand Wednesday in New York when the American Society of Travel Agents disclosed a new business plan. The plan, described as "a fight for survival" by Cheryl Hudak, ASTA president and CEO, aims to make the association more customer service oriented by creating new benefits for members and offering services at "a better price, more efficiently," according to Hudak. The new fees are $250 a year for core members (an individual or firm), and $2,500 for premium members (companies only). The new logo—a simple blue and white globe with ASTA in a black font—was designed to demonstrate the organization's desire to help agents throughout the world, says William A. Maloney, ASTA COO. Maloney says ASTA will continue efforts to encourage young professionals to get involved in the travel business. To do so, however, he says more veteran agents need to stop knocking their own profession. "People think that the business is dying and that it's not making money," Maloney says, noting that agents need to spread the word of the industry's growth and profitability instead of how it has suffered. "Travel agents are their own worst enemies," he says. Instead, he says, they should boast, "My business is good, thanks for asking."