|SoCal ASTA Board Members - L to R: Sheri Machat; Tama Holve; Pamela Irwin; Patty Thorington; Rhonda Shumway; Stan Jones|
SoCal ASTA’s fourth Annual Luxury Travel Celebration, Symposium, and Wine Tasting event drew more than 250 luxury travel agents to the Beverly Hills Hotel last month. Participants included owners, managers, and top producers from high-end agencies in the area.
Two panels moderated by SoCal ASTA Diamond Award Honorees Dr. Marc Mancini and Joe Watters – one composed of cruise and land executives and a second of agency owner-managers – focused on the direction of the travel industry over the next three to five years and how agents can stay ahead of those changes.
Key points addressed during the panels included profitability, work/life balance, value proposition, and economic forecast (which included potential threats to the travel industry, such as cyber threats and terrorism, and how to plan for them).
The Supplier Panel consisted of Jack Richards of Pleasant Holidays, Vicki Freed of Royal Caribbean International, Kristin Karst of AmaWaterways, Alain Bernard of Tahiti Legends, and Dave Herbert of Great Safaris.
The Owner/Manager Panel comprised Craig Carter and Bill Kramer of Luxe Travel, Lois Mitchell of ProTravel, Anastasia Mann of Corniche Travel, Scott Davis of Altour, Heidi Podjavorsek of Signature Travel Network, Robin Sanchez of Montecito Village Travel, and Heidi Hoehn of Travelstore.