Leisure Travel Alliance Opts in to ASTA Consortia Program
It helps to have a friend who always has your back.
That’s the message from Leisure Travel Alliance, who Friday became the latest consortia member to increase its financial commitment to the American Society of Travel Agents.
Stuart Godwin (picture above), president of the Austin, Texas-based LTA and an ASTA member since 1972, said that as local and state governments increasingly try to impose unfair taxes on travel agents, having an advocate such as ASTA has become an ever-growing necessity.
Saying he’s lost count of the number of bills introduced to the Texas legislature that would have gutted agents’ revenues and forced them out of the industry, Godwin said each time, ASTA has been there to defend the agents.
“All of these initiatives were successfully challenged by ASTA and Texas travel agents. Small business owners don’t have the time or the expertise to do this on their own,” Godwin said. “In our world, ASTA is the watchdog organization that does it for us. This is the primary reason we support ASTA and why we encourage our travel agency and agent affiliates to do the same.”
LTA joins members such as Travel Guard, Virtuoso, Ensemble, Signature and MAST, who have all increased their financial contribution via a new dues structure set in motion at the ASTA Board of Directors meeting in February.
“ASTA would not be where it is today if it weren’t for the commitment to the entire travel agent community being shown by many of our largest members, including Leisure Travel Alliance and its President, Stuart Godwin,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA President and CEO. “I am grateful for members such as Stuart who recognize what we do to promote and defend them, and agencies of all sizes.”
Godwin made it clear the commitment and appreciation is mutual and the benefits of ASTA’s advocacy are real and deliver constant results.
“It’s essential that travel agents have a strong and healthy trade organization that has a professional legal and government affairs staff,” said Godwin. “A famous Texan once said, ‘No man’s pocket book is safe when the Texas Legislature is in session.’ This bit of wisdom applies to all 50 states, the U.S. Congress and government regulators. Even before agents can oppose harmful legislation or support beneficial legislation, someone has to first monitor thousands of state and federal proposals.”
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