In a strong show of travel industry solidarity, Tony Gonchar, American Express Travel vice-president, drove membership registration of over 1,000 U.S.-based consumer travel counsellors and managers from American Express to ASTA. American Express was a charter member of ASTA\’s Premium Membership in 2007, and is a longtime Corporate Advisory Council (CAC) member.
Gonchar commented: \”I have seen, first hand, how hard the ASTA team works, and how effectively they move the needle in driving results that positively impact our industry. As former ASTA CEO, I worked closely with this smart, dedicated group to enhance and defend the travel professional and the travel industry. We wanted to deepen American Express Travel\’s long standing relationship with ASTA and we realized more of our travel counsellors needed to be made aware they could join as part of our premium membership status.\”
Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO, commented: \”Together, ASTA and American Express Travel have pledged to secure a vibrant global marketplace that is rewarding for travel agents, travel suppliers and the traveling public. This is an exciting time for the world of travel and we are grateful for Tony\’s, and American Express\’, support.\”
Kerby went on to say that: \”Post great recession, consumer preferences are shifting beyond material consumption in search of personal fulfilment through experience and learning, which travel is in a unique position to provide. More than the deal of the moment, consumers want value. Travel professionals deliver that in spades.\”
Gonchar noted that: \”At American Express Travel, we are certainly seeing the consumer movement toward a quest for enriching experiences. Life experiences — especially travel — have become the priority. Our travel counsellors give consumers something they can\’t Google and ASTA provides travel professionals information and resources they need to enrich the customer experience.\”
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