ASTA Agencies Report Robust Business
In a recent survey of American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) members, 74% reported that agency revenue for the first half of the year was better than, or at least the same as, the first half of 2013.
Increased transactions were cited by 45%, and 43% reported increasing their client base. ASTA notes this is a robust showing considering that the comparison year – 2013 – had solid growth.
“ASTA members are benefitting from the appetite consumers have for travel,” said ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby. “Consumer studies have shown that Americans say they have a better trip when they use a travel agent. Leveraging the experience and expertise of an ASTA travel agent makes the difference between having a bad trip or even a so-so vacation, and having the experience of a lifetime.”
Independent agents and corporate agencies reported the strongest performance gains in the first half of 2014, with 53% of independent agents and 52% of corporate agencies reporting increased revenues. Retail leisure agencies lagged behind the other two segments with only 44% of agencies reporting increased revenue. This is the first time in several years that retail leisure didn’t report equal or better performance suggesting that retail leisure gains may be leveling off after several robust years.
When asked about sales per travel segment, agencies reported the largest increases in sales were for insurance, FIT, cruise and tour/group.