The new membership deal with Ensemble Travel Group mandates membership for all Ensemble U.S. shareholder members, ASTA said. In total, 242 new members will join ASTA, including five new premium members. This new partnership also qualifies Ensemble for the 2019-20 Consortia seat on the ASTA Board of Directors. Consortia with 75 percent or more membership in ASTA are eligible for the seat on a two-year rotating basis. Ensemble will assume that seat during the ASTA Global Convention and will again be giving away the Susan B. Tanzman award in addition to making a $10,000 donation to ASTA’s political action committee, ASTAPAC, in the winner’s name.
The move makes Ensemble the latest travel industry organization to partner with ASTA. Earlier this year Travel Leaders Group became a Diamond-level ASTA partner, an agreement that included ASTA membership for Travel Leaders brands including Travel Leaders Network, Tzell Travel Group, Protravel International, Travel Leaders Corporate, ALTOUR, Nexion Travel Group, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Andrew Harper Travel, All Aboard Travel, Cruise Specialists, R.Crusoe & Son, Travel Leaders of Tomorrow, All Star Travel Group, SinglesCruise.com and In The Know Experiences. In 2015, Signature Travel Network began requiring ASTA membership for its members.
In a statement announcing the decision Ensemble Travel Group CEO David Harris cited ASTA’s recent advocacy efforts as a reason behind the deal. Following the organizations rebranding as the American Society of Travel Advisors last year, it has promoted the value of travel advisors through campaigns such as this past May’s National Travel Advisor Day and Advisor Month. ASTA has also been lobbying on regulatory issues affecting the travel industry, such as a bill that would change how independent contractors are defined in California, potentially shaking up the independent travel advisor model in the state.
This article originally appeared on www.travelagentcentral.com.