The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) recognized the “superstars” of the travel industry last week at the ASTA Global Convention in Chicago, held August 23-25. During the convention, attended by nearly 1,000 travel advisors, suppliers and industry professionals, ASTA recognized frontline travel advisors and agency owners who go above and beyond in caring for their customers, as well as those suppliers most supportive of the trade as voted on by its members.
Voted by the ASTA membership, the supplier awards are given to companies and individuals who recognize the value of agency community.
- Partner Company of the Year: AmaWaterways
- Partner Representative of the Year: Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean
- Airline Partner of the Year: American Airlines
- Transportation Partner of the Year: Enterprise Holdings
- GDS Partner of the Year: Sabre
- Hotel Partner of the Year: Marriott International
- Ocean Cruise Line Partner of the Year: Royal Caribbean
- River Cruise Line Partner of the Year: AmaWaterways
- Tour Operator Partner of the Year: Apple Leisure Group
- Travel Insurance Partner of the Year: Allianz Global Assistance
- North American Destination Partner of the Year: Hawaiian Islands
- International Destination Partner of the Year: Visit Croatia
- Technology & Transaction Partner of the Year: National Transaction Corporation
- Sustainability Partner of the Year: Hurtigruten
- Supplier Medal of Excellence: Royal Caribbean
Partnership awards were also given to ASTA members, chapters, and partner organizations who show the greatest support for the association. ASTA’s Consortium and Host Agency - Network Membership Award was a new addition to the 2021 ASTA Awards program. The organizations represented on stage during the annual convention last week have achieved, or are under contract to achieve, 100 percent participation in ASTA Membership within their network. The winners include: Ensemble Travel Group, Signature Travel Network, Virtuoso and MAST Travel Network.
The remaining ASTA member and partner awards winners are:
- ASTA Consortia Partner of the Year: Signature Travel Network and Virtuoso
- ASTA Regional Consortium of the Year: MAST Travel Network
- ASTA Host Agency of the Year: OASIS Travel Network
- ASTA Franchise Partner of the Year: Cruise Planners / American Express
- ASTA Member Service Award: Rebecca Naugler, president, Goli’s Avenues of Travel (ASTA members since 1952)
- ASTA Chapter on the Rise: ASTA Orange County Small Business Network Chapter
- ASTA Chapter President of the Year: Ann Lewis, Long Island Chapter
- ASTA International Chapter of the Year: ASTA Greece / Cyprus Chapter
- ASTA International Chapter Profile in Courage Award: ASTA Myanmar Chapter
- ASTA International Chapter President of the Year: Elinda Ravlic, Croatia Chapter
- Regional Director of the Year: Lois Howes
- Young Professional Society Award: Alvin Adriano, Travelwise International
The newest membership award at ASTA honors the late Robert (Bob) Duglin who was the vice president international membership and host agencies and the managing director of ASTA’s Small Business Network. Duglin worked on the ASTA staff for 10 years, but his ASTA history stretches further back: He started as a volunteer chapter officer many years ago and even after he become a staff member, Duglin continued to support the South Florida Chapter of ASTA through participation in chapter events, the promotion of the local travel advisor community, and the service of community with the local ASTA chapter.
To honor his service as a volunteer leader and staff member, ASTA is renaming is “Chapter of the Year” award in his honor. From now on, the ASTA Chapter that exudes special qualities of conscientiousness, community building and overall excellence will be awarded the “Robert L. Duglin Chapter Excellence Award.”
Throughout the pandemic, ASTA chapters have had the challenge of trying to maintain connection with their members in a time where meeting in person was not possible. In this difficult time, the 2021 winner of this award managed to connect with their members and initiate a blood drive that inspired surrounding chapters to do the same. For these reasons and many more, ASTA recognize the ASTA Delaware Valley Chapter as the recipient of the inaugural “Robert L. Duglin Chapter Excellence” award, represented by their chapter president, Denise Coubarous-Payne.
ASTA advocates on behalf of the travel agency community at all levels of government, within the industry and before the traveling public. The following awards were presented at ASTA’s black-tie Advocacy Dinner during Global Convention:
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group
- Chapter Advocacy Award: ASTA New Jersey Chapter
- Paul Ruden Industry Ambassador Award: Olga Ramudo, Express Travel
- Barbara O’Hara Advocacy Award: Anita Pagliasso, Ticket to Travel/KHM Travel Group
In lieu of the “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in 2021, the Dan and Gloria Bohan Foundation is sponsoring a select number of ASTA member travel advisors to obtain their ASTA Verified Travel Advisor Certification.