AZASTA Chapter News

In This Edition

From the President

Dear Chapter Members:

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to lead the Arizona ASTA Chapter. I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude for those whose votes elected me to this honorable position.

A list of the AZ ASTA Board Members that will be assisting me can be found to the left.

We are thrilled to start working for you. At our first meeting last week, we invited several individuals from the travel community who have expressed interest in assisting our chapter. We agreed on two very important areas on which we’ll be focusing — communication and membership. We invite your help and would also like to hear from you! Please feel free to contact any of us with you’re your ideas, suggestions, and your concerns too!

We have several events planned for the coming year, please check our website for more information www.azasta.org.

As the summer winds down and we gear up for the holiday travel season, I’d like to take some time to reflect on the past few months: our accomplishments and successes as well as our obstacles and shortfalls. From the Transportation Security Administration/Homeland Security travel requirements, to the implementation of segment fees by many airlines, to the proposed new passport requirements; this has definitely been a summer of change. It can be a bit overwhelming to process all of this new information we are constantly faced with, but look at is as an opportunity to demonstrate your value as a travel professional. Many of these new rules and regulations are confusing even to veteran travel professionals, so imagine how the consumer must feel! Take this time to learn as much as you can so that you can answer questions both knowledgeably and articulately. As a travel professional, adaptability is key and you should be a source of information to consumers.

Some of you had the opportunity to attend the first annual THETRADESHOW in Orlando, which was a huge success. Though not officially an ASTA event, THETRADESHOW was an excellent opportunity to learn about exciting destinations, products, and selling techniques as well as network with fellow ASTA members and travel industry professionals. This interaction and exchange of ideas is essential as our industry is constantly changing.

I look forward to seeing you all at the next chapter meeting!

Laura C. Rodríguez-Verbera
Chapter President, Arizona ASTA
Marina Tours & Travel
Tel: (602) 268-0030
E-mail: laura.rodriguez@azasta.org

Calendar of Events

National Events

March 25–29, 2007
International Destination Expo, Jeju, Republic of Korea
Sept. 9–11, 2007

Local Events

Nov. 16, 2006
Board Meeting, Sheraton Phoenix Airport

January Spotlight


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From the Top: News from Headquarters

Cheryl Hudak Sworn in as ASTA President, CEO

Cheryl Hudak, CTC, owner of Travel Dimensions, Inc. in Boardman, Ohio was elected as the president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Sept. 10, 2006, at THETRADESHOW in Orlando. Hudak will now begin her year-long term as ASTA’s national president. Previously, Hudak served as national vice president. Read full release.

Chapter Presidents Council Representatives Elected to ASTA’s Board of Directors

ASTA announced that its Chapter Presidents Council (CPC) elected Nina Meyer, CTC, South Florida chapter president; Chris Russo, Rocky Mountain chapter president; and Carol Wagner, Michigan chapter president as the three chapter president representatives to the 2006-2007 ASTA Board of Directors. Read full release.

One-stop Shopping for IDE in Jeju, Republic of Korea

Take advantage of one-stop shopping for your air, hotel and tours at the International Destination Expo March 25-29, 2007, in Jeju, Republic of Korea. ASTA has simplified the process of booking your travel for the International Destination Expo. Just use Yoo Travel to book your air, hotel and pre/post tour experiences in one convenient place. Simply click here to complete the booking form.

ASTA and Ya’lla Tours USA Turkish Delight Extravaganza

Experience Turkey for less than $130 a day, including air, great hotels, most meals, site visits and education! This FAM trip, Nov.29-Dec. 10, 2006, is available for the low price of $1,295, so be sure to let your membership know. Turkey has a magnificent past, an extraordinary present and a promising future. It is a land full of historic treasures from 13 successive civilizations spanning 10,000 years, which have left vast amounts of art and architecture. It is also a paradise of sun, sea, mountains and lakes. You will experience it all, in hip, stylish and luxurious accommodation and atmosphere, while learning how to sell Turkey to your clients. Possibly the most extraordinary experience you will have is getting to know the friendly and hospitable people of this unique country~ the unknown corner of Europe. Go to www.astanet.com/education/fam06/turkey06.asp for details.

Close to 5,000 People Attend THETRADESHOW

THETRADESHOW (Travel Retailing and Destination Expo) partners are pleased to announce the success of show's debut in Orlando Sept. 10-12. More than 3,000 travel industry professionals gathered at the Orange County Convention Center for one-on-one business appointments, travel seminars, exhibits and to meet client prospects at Consumer Day, when close to 2,000 consumers turned out to learn about destinations and the value of using a travel agent.

What's Going on in Government?

Consumer Protection

Legislative language calling for a one-year extension of the right to alternate carriage for passengers holding airline tickets on a bankrupt carrier that ceases operation has recently been added as an amendment to H.R. 4594, the Port Security Improvement Act. At present, the Port Security bill is one of very few bills currently on a fast track that may see final votes before Congress recesses for the mid-year election on Sept. 29. Government Affairs has been working closely with Senators Conrad Burns and Jay Rockefeller on this measure.

ASTA Press Releases

Consumer Awareness Tip of the Month: Travel Insurance-The Importance of Being Insured from www.travelsense.org

Travel insurance protects consumers from substantial losses that may result from a variety of situations, including canceled trips, lost baggage, medical emergencies, supplier defaults, as well as other unforeseen circumstances.

Types of Coverage

There are several general types of consumer travel insurance available. The coverage and limitations of each will vary depending on the insurance company issuing the policy. The following is a brief description of some of the general types of travel insurance.

Trip Cancellation
The most important and common type of travel insurance. Generally covers non-refundable payments or deposits if a trip is canceled or interrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.
Trip Delay
Provides reimbursement for expenses incurred when a trip is delayed.
Accident/Sickness Medical Expenses
Covers costs incurred due to injury or illness that occur while on a trip.
Medical Evacuation/Emergency Transportation
Covers transportation when a medical emergency while traveling requires transportation to a hospital or other medical facility.
Supplier Default
Covers deposits or payments lost due to the financial default of a travel supplier.
Baggage/Personal Effects Loss or Delay
Covers losses due to items lost, damaged or delayed during a trip.

Supplier Provided Coverage vs. Third Party Insurance Companies

Many travel vendors (tour companies and cruise lines) offer their own protection plans and these plans may provide very different coverage than offered through third-party insurance companies. In most cases, supplier-provided coverage won’t cover you in the event they go bankrupt. When considering a supplier protection plan, you should carefully compare the coverage with third-party travel insurance products.

Who should buy travel insurance?

Travelers who want to protect their travel investment should consider purchasing travel insurance. If an illness, accident or sudden change in plans forces you to cancel or interrupt travel plans, you face two major financial losses — money you've invested in nonrefundable prepayments, and medical expenses that aren't covered by your health insurance.

How does your trip cancellation coverage work?

It is designed to reimburse you for forfeited, nonrefundable, unused payments or deposits if you have to cancel your interrupt your trip due to a variety of situations, including but not limited to inclement weather, illness or another unforeseen event.

Depending on your policy, it may also cover:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Transportation ordered by a doctor to the nearest adequate medical facility
  • Reasonable accommodations and travel expenses for travel delays
  • Essential items you purchase if your baggage is delayed
  • Lost or stolen luggage

How much does travel insurance cost?

The cost of travel insurance varies by company and policy. The more you have invested in your trip, the more you need to protect it.

Where do you buy it?

Most travel agents offer travel insurance and many may even require customers who decline insurance to sign a waiver form.

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