ASTA calls on industry to switch from travel ‘agents’ to ‘advisors’, sets up new Myanmar chapter

From booking agents to travel advisors

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), which rebranded as the American Society of Travel Advisors in August 2018, is urging the travel industry to “speak with one voice” by making the terminology switch from ‘travel agents’ to ‘travel advisors’.

This name switch, according to ASTA, is a reflection of the revitalisation that has been underway in the travel industry for several years and sends a key message to the travelling public and the broader industry, as consumer media and travellers themselves are also embracing this shift from agent to advisor.

From booking agents to travel advisors

“Today’s travel agents are no longer mere booking intermediaries. They have become trusted advisors — akin to financial planners and CPAs — who make the overall travel experience better and provide both leisure and business travelers maximum value for their travel dollar,” the ASTA wrote in an open letter to the travel industry.

“The term ‘advisor’ not only more accurately describes the value our members provide to consumers but also serves as a distinct declaration of who we work for: the travelling public,” the society added.

“Terminology still matters”, and it is hence critical that “all industry stakeholders speak with one voice when it comes to describing our business”, wrote ASTA.

Earlier this month, ASTA announced on its Facebook page the launch of its newest chapter in Myanmar. ASTA’s vice president of international membership & expansion Bob Duglin met with the ASTA Myanmar Chapter president Kyaw Bohne Naing, several of the 100 chapter members, and Myanmar’s minister of tourism Ohn Maung in a recent meeting in Yangon.

Myanmar is the latest addition to ASTA’s existing Asia chapters in China, the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

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