The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) announced that it has entered into an exclusive partnership with WD World Travel, a Vancouver, B.C.-based international travel management company, to offer Canadian travel consultants automatic NACTA membership when they join WD World Travel as an independent consultant.
"This will serve as a model for how [NACTA] would like to do business with agents in the future," said Ann Van Leeuwen, vice president of NACTA.
NACTA is a trade association representing independent contractors, outside sales agents, cruise- and tour-oriented agents, group-oriented travel professionals and traditional ARC-appointed travel agencies that provide services and support to such professionals. The new partnership with WD World Travel also signifies the launch of NACTA Canada.
"WD is an active host agency and a member of ASTA. It wanted to establish NACTA in Canada," said Van Leeuwen. "This is the first NACTA host agency in Canada and, if we can model it well in Canada, we can go to other countries."
For every 20 Canadian NACTA independent consultants, the association will consider launching a chapter and assign a chapter director based on geographic location. WD World and Baxter Publications, a Canadian travel trade media company, have a partnership and both companies are working together to promote NACTA to Baxter's readers.
Independent consultants who join WD World Travel are automatically enrolled in NACTA and receive the benefits of NACTA's training programs, including complimentary access to NACTA sales and MasterMind webinars; special reduced rates to attend NACTA's educational trips, Destinationals, Seminars at Sea and NACTA's domestic and international conferences. Membership also includes invitations to attend chapter director meetings and events in the U.S. and Canada; a complimentary subscription to NACTA's bimonthly Agent Life magazine and NACTA's monthly e-zine newsletter; as well as the Voyager Travel Guides, which provide 750 destination guides, more than 50 videos and more than 100 travel articles that agents can use on their websites and social media programs.
A Seminar at Sea that targets Canadian independent consultants is already in the works.
"With Alaskan Dream Cruises, we have a seminar at sea with a trainer, and we are doing a podcast. The first Canadian independent consultants to sign up will be invited to go on the trip," said Van Leeuwen.
She also noted that, with this first partnership, NACTA's new agreement has already prompted several other organizations to look into a similar partnership.
"I think that this is really important, actually essential," said Van Leeuwen. "We need to partner together to grow the industry."