Royal Caribbean is subsidizing ASTA membership dues for members of the National Association of Career Travel Agents (Nacta), an organization that is a wholly owned by ASTA.

The cruise line is sponsoring $10,000 in membership dues. ASTA's membership costs for individual agents and independent contractors is $199 per year, with a two-year commitment. There are about 1,500 agent members of Nacta.

Royal Caribbean is the first cruise line to subsidize ASTA membership dues. In the past, Marriott has sponsored ASTA memberships, enabling agents to join at a discount, ASTA said.

"Royal Caribbean is proud to subsidize Nacta agents' membership into ASTA so they can enjoy the support and muscle of an incredible organization dedicated to their needs all day, every day," said Vicki Freed, Royal Caribbean's senior vice president of sales, trade support and service. "With the pairing of resources from both ASTA and Royal Caribbean, our Nacta travel partners can make sure their clients come home with the best memories possible."

ASTA president and CEO Zane Kerby lauded the sponsorship.

"Royal Caribbean understands that travel agents are their most important distribution channel and that being a member of ASTA matters," he said.

ASTA encourages Nacta agents to join ASTA to support their national trade association and its mission. Also, an ASTA membership enables agents to display the ASTA logo, a sign of credibility. 

ASTA said it will continue to work with suppliers on creating further membership programs.


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