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What:Travel agent members of host agency Nexion can now become American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) members via a monthly, direct-enroll program. For $17 per month, Nexion agents can hold a two-year membership. The announcement was made at the agency’s 10th annual CoNexion conference, held Sept. 14-17 in San Diego at Loews Coronado Bay.
Why It Matters:Unlike consortia, host agencies can’t mandate membership to associations such as ASTA. Instead, Nexion has found a unique way to incentivize its members to engage with the organization — an unprecedented move by a host agency. By offering its members an affordable option, Nexion is opening the door for agents who may not have the resources to pay a one-time fee. The decision can serve as a catalyst for a more inclusive travel agent community — other host agencies would do well to follow Nexion’s lead in ensuring that more agents have access to ASTA’s resources and advocacy.
Fast Facts:- ASTA recently added a $199 Independent Contractor (IC) membership rate. Agents can qualify for this rate in two ways: by being an affiliated IC of an ASTA premium host agency, such as Nexion, and/or by being a current member of the National Association for Career Travel Agents.
- The new payment structure will charge Nexion members $17 per month at the IC rate for a 24-month commitment.
- Participation in the Nexion direct-enroll program is voluntary.
- Nexion agents who opt in to the payment plan will pay $408 over the course of 24 months, $10 more than the upfront two-year IC rate.
- Monthly dues will be billed at the beginning of each month to a member’s Nexion account.
What They Are Saying:“We applaud Nexion for supercharging our IC membership program by allowing their ICs to directly enroll in ASTA membership through simple monthly payments,” said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of ASTA. “We’re always willing to customize a membership program that works for host agencies to make sure that all agents, and ICs, can have access to ASTA’s network of resources and benefits, and we thank Nexion for making it that much easier for ICs to invest in their national trade association.”
“What’s unique about this program is that by making it easier for agents to pay for this, we’re expecting a lot more engagement,” added Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion. “I encourage and appeal to [the agents’] professionalism and advocacy. Because we’re a host agency, we can’t mandate anything. We’re just making it easier for them to raise their hand.”
American Society of Travel Agentswww.asta.org