ASTA’s seventh annual Premium Business Summit, held in conjunction with ASTA’s Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) meeting, brought together over ninety of the industry’s top travel agency and supplier executives to share insights and discuss the future of the travel agency channel, ASTA reports. The invitation-only meetings were held May 14-15, 2013.
“This year’s Premium Summit provided ASTA members an exclusive opportunity to understand policies that affect business, and a glimpse of where our industry is heading,” said ASTA President & CEO Zane Kerby. “Just as important, this one-of-a-kind industry event provided the opportunity for members to discuss and share working solutions to the issues of today.”
“The 2013 ASTA Premium Summit was an impressive forward-thinking event comprised of high-level executives – all with a clear vision for protecting and, more importantly, enhancing the future of the professional travel distribution channel,” said Darcy Lard, ASTA Premium Member and President of Flathead Travel Service.
ASTA reported that executives from across a wide spectrum of the travel industry shared their expertise and perspectives with the group, including:
• C. Stewart Verdery, Founder and Partner of Monument Policy Group and former Homeland Security Assistant Secretary, spoke about the ever-changing travel political and policy landscape.
• Henry Harteveldt, Travel Industry Analyst, Hudson Crossing, discussed the white paper that IATA commissioned from him that predicts drastic changes in the way agents will do business by 2017.
• Zane Kerby, CEO, ASTA, introduced himself as ASTA’s new CEO and President and provided an overview of the society’s vision for moving forward.
• Chris Kroeger, Senior VP, Sabre Travel Network, shared insights into how Sabre is meeting the needs of airlines, travel agencies, and travelers in this increasingly multifaceted world.
• Apoorva Gandi, VP, Multi-Cultural Markets & Alliances, Marriott International, Inc., discussed how to lead with a global mindset.
• Ronald Cerko, VP Travel Industry Relations, Enterprise Holdings, discussed the ever-changing car rental industry.
• Mike Premo, CEO, Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), discussed the new ARC Agreement and how ARC will connect travel agents of the future.
• John Rose, Chief Operating Officer, iJET, provided participants with an overview of near-term and long-term global trends that will impact global commerce.
• Kristian Anderson, VP Sales, Silversea Cruises, Ltd. discussed the state of the industry for leisure-based travel, and the industry’s most important element – the customer.
• Ron Cole, VP Sales, Travelport, led a discussion on how the travel industry is changing and growing.
• Carolyn Cauceglia, Vice President of Strategic Sales and Account Management, Amadeus N.A., provided an overview of the customer airport experience in 2020.
In addition to forward focused topics, the group discussed pending federal and state regulatory and legislative initiatives.
Sponsors of the event included: Marriott International, JW Marriott Desert Ridge, ABC Global Services, Amadeus, Airlines Reporting Corporation, Enterprise Holdings, Sabre, Silversea, Travelport and Travel Insured.
ASTA’s Premium Membership is comprised of travel agencies of all sizes and business models, Travel Management Companies (TMCs), consortia, franchise groups and online travel agencies.
ASTA’s Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) is a smaller, advocacy focused group that is open to agencies that produce $50 million or greater in sales.
The next Premium and CAC meetings will be held in conjunction with ASTA’s Global Convention in Miami, FL Sept 17 to 19, 2013.