Carnival Cruise Line is sponsoring $10,000 in ASTA membership dues, the Society announced Monday afternoon.

"By creating new pathways for more travel agents to join ASTA, Carnival is supporting our industry at the highest level," Society president and CEO Zane Kerby said in a statement. Kerby thanked Carnival for its commitment to the agency community.

ASTA said Carnival's sponsorship of membership dues is the latest of its recent support of the Society, noting the cruise line sponsored an ASTA study, "Best of Both Worlds: Quantifying How Travel Agents Save Consumers Time and Money," earlier this year. That study found travel agents save consumers an average of $452 and four planning hours per trip.

Last week, ASTA announced a similar deal with Royal Caribbean, which is subsidizing $10,000 in ASTA membership dues. That sponsorship, though, is specifically aimed at members of the National Association of Career Travel Agents (Nacta, which is owned by ASTA). In the past, Marriott has also sponsored ASTA memberships.

ASTA said it will continue to work with suppliers to create similar membership programs.

Dues to the Society vary based on an agency's annual sales volume but start at $325 per year. Independent contractors who are members of ASTA premium agencies (with sales volume over $50 million annually) or who are Nacta members can join for $199 per year with a two-year commitment.


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