ASTA Approves New Business Plan and
The American Society of
Travel Agents (ASTA) recently announced the election results for a
new business plan as well as the results for national officers and
some chapter officers. ASTA members approved the new business plan
that was on the Bylaws Referendum held Sept. 7-21.
Of the 23 percent of those who voted by electronic ballot, 82
percent voted for the new business plan.
The new plan offers two membership categories. Core members receive
an array of online services, including peer assistance, an
E-Library with responses to frequently asked questions, a list of
suppliers that don’t honor agent commitments and an industry
For a higher fee, agencies that choose to become premium members
receive customized research, extensive networking opportunities,
more involvement in federal and state government relations and can
opt to work with an account management team.
Implementation of the plan will begin in 2006, and new member
categories will be officially launched in January 2007.
Up next for ASTA, a task force will meet this fall to create a
governance plan to be reviewed by
the board of directors and chapter presidents’ council. Following
review, the governance plan will go to the membership in a
referendum if needed. ASTA also an-nounced the results of its
election for national officers, as well as some area and chapter
Elected to the board of directors in uncontested races were: Thomas
L. Keefe (Area 1), Jack D. Tillem (Area 3), Penelope “Penny”
Hawkins (Area 7), Scott Pinheiro (Area 9) and Stephen F. Fiore
Elected as chapter presidents in uncontested races are as follows:
Irene C. Ross, CTC, New England; Barbara Jathas, New York City
chapter; Joseph W. Bouknight, Carolinas; Jay Ellenby, Central
Atlantic; Arlene H. Blosch, Delaware Valley; Vicki Abel, Allegheny;
Carol Wagner, Michigan; Dan Lanser, CTC, MidAmerica; Paula Quon,
CTC, Northern California; Russell C. Arpaia, Connecticut; Colleen
Gillette, Hudson Valley; Lois Howes, Long Island, N.Y.; Patrick R.
Byrne, Upstate New York; Wendy Goodenow, CTC, Hawaii; Barbara
Boatman, Orange County, Calif.; and Antoine Georges, San Diego,
Travel Industry Supports La.’s ‘Rebirth’
Louisiana officials recently unveiled a preliminary plan
to help rebuild the state’s devastated travel industry and return
more than 120,000 tourism workers to their jobs. The plan would
marshal support from government sources, industry groups and
companies to help fund the effort.
Titled Rebirth Louisiana, the plan’s details remain sketchy.
Nevertheless it was quickly endorsed by Travel Industry Association
president Roger Dow and other leaders of national tourism
State officials said the plan not only lays a foundation for
restoring the tourist areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina, but
also anticipates tourism improvements in New Orleans to make the
area the “pre-eminent” destination in the region for national and
Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu said the state would seek federal funds as
well as contributions from the travel and tourism industry. The
state will also request lobbying help from Washington-based travel
and tourism associations and the Louisiana Congressional
Landrieu’s office which oversees the state’s cultural, recreation
and tourism efforts said it will coordinate a massive public
relations campaign, small business loans to affected areas and
other recovery efforts.
Louisiana officials noted that outside financial re-
sources will be critical to the rebuilding effort because no
tourism revenues currently exist, leaving no tax revenues to refill
the coffers of Louis-
iana convention and tourism organizations.
Landrieu said the cultural reputation of New Orleans and the region
will be a key driver in attracting economic help from the rest of
the country. While he said the state welcomes help from all
directions, he made it clear that Louisianans would lead the
Louisiana officials said they will create housing for those working
in the tourism reconstruction effort in state parks, using both
temporary buildings, mobile homes and existing cabins to provide
living quarters which will help free up hotel rooms for
Malaysia Air Offers Deal
Malaysia Airlines is offering fares to Kuala Lumpur for as low as
$699 roundtrip. Tickets must be purchased online by Nov. 15, and
travel must originate from the Los Angeles or the New York/Newark
No minimum stay is required; the maximum stay is 30 days.
Passengers aren’t eligible for Enrich/Frequent flyer miles; tickets
are non-refundable and changes are not permitted.
PATA to Meet in Canada
Division chapter will hold their annual meeting in Alberta, Canada,
at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Oct. 29-31. Seminars will
include Marketing the Olympics (Vancouver/Whistler 2010), Asia
Pacific Geography 101 and Niche Market Selling of Wine Tours.
Attendees have the option to arrive by train by taking the Via Rail
excursion on Oct. 28. Some attendees will be continuing across
Canada for the ASTA World Congress, Nov. 6-10, in Montreal,
The registration fee is $145 for PATA and PATA chapter members.
Non-members and ASTA members will pay a $195 registration fee with
a $50 rebate going toward PATA membership if they sign up during
Marriott’s Room With a View
given new meaning to a room with a view. In an effort to reinvent
its brand image, the hotel chain recently unveiled the mSpot live
in New York City, which kicked off a four-day celebration.
Set in Times Square, the mSpot is a two-story glass enclosed and
stainless-steel structure that debuts Marriott’s redesigned
guestrooms. The second-level performance stage serves as the locale
for a flurry of concerts, celebrity appearances and even a
Wisconsin couple’s wedding.
Americans seeking an intimate religious experience that explores
faiths most notable places or origins can book a pilgrimage through
In response to the overwhelming interest in its religious packages
offered in 2005, Globus has now more than doubled its pilgrimage
vacations for next year to include 20 tours in 20 countries.
On Dec. 6, in Denver, Globus will also host the first-ever National
Religious Travel Symposium, bringing together the country’s top
speakers and experts on religious travel.
Package highlights for 2006 include Turkey & the Seven Churches
of Revelation; Egypt: Early Civilization & Christianity;
European Reformation; Italy & Jewish Heritage; and Shrines of