AZASTA Chapter News

In This Edition

From the President

Dear Chapter Members:

Wow! Where did January go? It is a new year at ASTA and I hope that you all had a great 2005 holiday season. I had promised tips on how your ASTA membership has value and I am already two tips behind. My first tips are in the education value of ASTA. 2006 will be an exciting year and make sure to register for the upcoming event, the International Destination Expo (IDE) in Prague, March 21–26, 2006. To register now go to visit the IDE web page. IDE will offer a day and a half of complimentary sightseeing, 21 pre- and post-tour options, the opportunity to earn four destination specialist courses and profit-building networking opportunities which make this an event not to be missed.

There will also be an educational opportunity to become a central Europe Specialist by attending the new IDE (Industry Destination Expo) in Prague in March. See the article in the newsletter for more details. I will be there and hope to see you there as well.

On a closer front, Arizona ASTA will be hosting Darrell Scott from ARC to explain the mandatory changes coming up this year in reporting. This will be a breakfast on March 07, at the Holiday Inn Express located at 3131 North Scottsdale Road. Breakfast will be served and we will start at 7:30AM. We will host your breakfast at no charge to you. Please RSVP to Helen Wirschem at 480-451-3870 by March 04 so we can get an accurate count for breakfast. Don’t miss out on first hand information from ARC.

Also, stay tuned to Sirius Radio channel 119 for the “Traveling with Paul Lasley and Elizabeth Harryman” show which features “The ASTA Travel Tip of the Day.” “The ASTA Travel Tip of the Day” is a series of 2-minute radio spots taped with ASTA travel agents that will offer consumer travel tips. Look for the Sirius Radio tips to be listed on Travelsense.org in a few weeks and make sure to click on the links to hear the different travel tips from our agents.

I look forward to seeing you at the next chapter meeting and wish you a great 2006!

All the Best,
Hope Wallace
Chapter President, Arizona ASTA

Calendar of Events

National Events

March 21–26, 2006
International Destination Expo, Prague, Czech Republic
Sept. 10–13, 2006

Local Events
January Spotlight: How the Hawaii Chapter is Getting the Word out on Travel Agents

Wendy Goodenow of HNL Travel Associates hosted a “Love Your Travel Agent” contest for Valentine’s Day last year. She placed an ad with a response form in the local newspaper, asking for people to nominate an ASTA travel agent.

Wendy has reached out to local newspapers to solicit discounted ad space for ASTA members. Some of the local morning papers offered to list all local ASTA members on their Web site.

ASTA PR Tip of the Month:

Do you want to increase your visibility in your local community? Give something away! People love free stuff. Whenever possible, partner with your local radio stations for contests. Donate a free trip, or something of the nature and you'll get free publicity for as long as the contest runs.

From the Top: News from Headquarters

Let ASTA Promote You to Consumers as a Destination Specialist

The International Destination Expo Prague March 21–26, 2006, offers travel agents the opportunity to earn specialist certificates covering up to 13 Central and Eastern European destinations including: The Czech Republic, Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia and Slovenia. ASTA will promote your achievements to consumers, making sure potential clients know that you are a Central and Eastern European expert.

In addition to extensive destination training, your registration includes sightseeing throughout the Czech Republic, extraordinary special events including Opening Night in the Spanish Hall of the Prague Castle and profit-building networking opportunities to meet with regional suppliers.

Make your experience truly unforgettable by choosing from 20 pre- and post-tours, allowing you to explore all this region offers you and your clients.

Register by the Jan. 31 early bird deadline to save $50 at www.astanet.com/expo.

See what reporters are saying about IDE after attending the Prague press trip in December

Read Jim Ruggia's thoughts at Modern Agent.

Ken Shapiro from TravelAge West also provides some insight.

ASTA's Jordan Destination Specialist Course is on its Way

ASTA and Jordan Tourism Board are in the process of developing the Jordan Destination Specialist course that will debut in March for the price of $79, with an introductory offer of 15-percent off. This course is being written by noted industry author Sue Wilder, CTC, who will design it to meet the educational needs of travel agents who want to expand their expertise to include selling travel to Jordan. Once completed, travel agents will receive a certificate of achievement as a Jordan Travel Specialist.

The course will consist of: content on Jordan, application activities and a specialist exam. All travel agents will have a realistic profile of Jordan by recognizing its key historical developments and current cultural and tourism characteristics. They also will be able to identify features of key destinations. Agents will develop strategies for selling Jordan, including how to find customers, plan itineraries and handle clients’ concerns and questions about traveling to the country. The Jordan Destination Specialist course will include the following formats: an online course, a PDF document and a CD-Rom.

To learn more, visit http://www.astanet.com/news/index.asp.

Adventures in Travel Expo and ASTA Announce Marketing Alliance— ATE to Produce Pavilion at THETRADESHOW

THETRADESHOW (Travel Retailing and Destination Expo) has developed another key travel industry partnership with the Adventures in Travel Expo (ATE), produced by Unicomm LLC. The partnership will provide travel agents attending THETRADESHOW with more educational opportunities and access to a wider variety of suppliers and travel products.

Unicomm will also offer Adventure Travel seminar sessions and Adventure Travel Specialist Certification to trade participants at THETRADESHOW.

To learn more, read the press release at http://www.thetradeshow.org/moreinfo/press.asp.

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What's Going on in Government?

ASTA Announces Adoption of Passport Substitute Document, PASS

ASTA's government affairs department was pleased to announce that U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff approved the PASS Card (People Access Security Service)— a passport-substitute travel document initially for travelers crossing U.S. land borders in the Western Hemisphere. Understanding the effects the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) would have on the travel and tourism industry, ASTA testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics Affairs on June 9, 2005, urging development of this type of secure travel document.

The Department of State and Department of Homeland Security will also be establishing an inter-agency advisory board to provide a more direct and consistent means of industry input into identifying the best practices for border security crossing. People from the travel and tourism sector and academic world will be on board, as well as various private sectors. To learn more, read the press release by clicking here.

ASTA Press Releases Sent out Between December and January

ASTA Instrumental in Passage of Passport Substitute document, PASS (Jan. 17)

Sudeikis Honored with Travel Weekly Lifetime Achievement Award (Dec. 22)

ASTA Assists in Extending Section 145 (Dec. 13)

ASTA Agents Hit Satellite Radio with “ASTA Travel Tip of the Day” (Dec. 5)

Major Study of Travel Agency Success Factors Launched by University of South Carolina’s Sloan Center (Dec. 2)

Consumer Awareness Tip of the Month: Student Travel

Travel is an exhilarating adventure to explore new places and cultures, but students need to be made aware of certain issues before they leave. Student should:

  • learn about the local laws and customs of the countries they are visiting in advance.
  • give their parents the phone and fax number of their hotel, cell phone number of the chaperones and a full itinerary of the trip.
  • pack all valuables, medications, travel documents and passports in their carry-on bag in case their luggage gets lost.
  • keep wallets in a zippered pocket or in a purse underneath their clothes.
  • avoid wearing flashy jewelry and flaunting expensive cameras or MP3 players.
  • be respectful and always ask if they can take photographs when visiting churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, government buildings and military installations.

To learn more, visit http://www.travelsense.org/tips/studenttravel.asp.

“Without a Travel Agent, You’re on Your Own”