ASTA said the percentage of members who are home-based agencies
has grown from 7% in 2003 to 44% in 2016. Meanwhile, the percentage of retail
locations has decreased from 63% in 2003 to 35% in 2016.
The data, from ASTA's 2016 Agency Profile Report, was
presented by National Association of Career Travel Agents president Ann
Chamberlin during Nacta's national conference last week.
The ASTA report asked member agencies to self-identify their
agency location and business model, and filtered them into four categories: home-based
agencies, retail location agencies, office location agencies and other.
Office location agencies have seen a decrease from 2003 to
2016 from 23% to 15%, while "other" agencies have remained the same
(with several dips and one spike over the years) at 6%.
According to ASTA, the shift from retail locations to
home-based agencies "is probably cost associated."
At the conference, Nacta -- which is wholly owned by ASTA --
celebrated its 30th anniversary. The conference was held at the Westin Fort
Lauderdale and aboard the Celebrity Infinity.
"We owe our 30 years of success to the vast network of
relationships built between suppliers and travel professionals,"
Chamberlin said. "Suppliers know that their clients find them to be a
[trusted] resource because travel professionals are experienced with firsthand
knowledge of the hotels, destinations and products."