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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.
- 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
- 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
"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."