Virtuoso has joined the ranks of agency groups that are
subsidizing ASTA membership dues.
It will reimburse up to $736 per agency within its
network, which Virtuoso said will fully cover membership dues for up to 85% of agencies and subsidize the majority of dues for the others.
While Virtuoso is not mandating participation, it is
removing the financial obstacle that may concern some agencies. The 62 Virtuoso
agencies that currently are ASTA members will receive reimbursement for their
dues, giving them the option of redirecting their fee toward ASTA’s Political
Action Committee (PAC). Virtuoso has 355 agency members. Both ASTA and
Virtuoso expect that the number of shared Virtuoso and ASTA members will climb
significantly with this added financial incentive.
“Zane Kerby and ASTA are doing good work,” said Virtuoso CEO Matthew
Upchurch, referring to ASTA’s president and
CEO. “Our community needs a unified voice when it comes to tackling
industrywide issues, especially on Capitol Hill, and I know they are committed
to that cause. We are supporting ASTA in this manner because of its
agency and travel adviser advocacy. The more agencies that are involved,
the louder our collective voice becomes.”
Upchurch has served on ASTA’s Corporate Advisory Council
(CAC) and was inducted into ASTA’s Travel Hall of Fame in 2004. In
addition to financially supporting its agencies, Virtuoso will continue to
maintain its own Premium membership and CAC membership.
“Virtuoso has a long history of ardently supporting the
entire travel agency community,” said Kerby.
Travel Leaders Franchise Group and Signature Travel Network
have both mandated membership for its agencies. MAST Travel Network pays a
portion of member dues.