ASTA Report Shows the Financial Strength of Agents

Survey reveals advisors are continuing to thrive in a post-recession economy By: Emma Weissmann
A new report shows that business for most travel agents is booming. // © 2017 iStock
A new report shows that business for most travel agents is booming. // © 2017 iStock

The Details

American Society of Travel Agents
www.asta.org

What:
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) recently released its annual "Financial Benchmarking Report," which measures the financial health of its member agencies. In the first half of 2016, nearly 75 percent of respondents reported that their revenues increased or stayed the same when compared with the same time period in 2015. Strength showed in other facets of business, too, with similar results in number of sales (76 percent), clients (78 percent) and transactions (70 percent). ASTA will continue to release complete 2016 data as it's made available.

Why It Matters:
The results for the first half of 2016 reveal that agents - who were once thought to be nearly extinct - are not only surviving, but thriving in a post-recession economy. The financial performance also suggests a trend among consumers, who have proven to be resilient and who are increasingly seeking advice when planning vacations.

Fast Facts:
- The survey was collected through 341 members of the ASTA Research Family survey panel, which provides a representative sample of ASTA's member travel agency owners and managers.

- According to the survey, positive sales trends remained despite short-term impact from geopolitical incidents that may have shifted some travel segments.

- Survey data was collected online in early 2016.

What They Are Saying:
"We've always said that travel agents have never really gone away, and I think this shows that our members are still thriving," said Erika Richter, director of communications for ASTA. "They still have a good client base. They never went away, and there's still a need for professional travel advice."

"The economy as a whole continues to improve," said Eben Peck, senior vice president of government affairs and communications. "The rising tide is helping to lift all boats."

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