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
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.