Once again, the ASTA Mid-Michigan annual supplier event was a great success. This year the event was held at the Detroit Yacht Club. Read the rest of this entry »
Those who have never participated in the production of an “event” would almost certainly be shocked at the enormous energy and coordination happening “behind the scenes.” The promoters of any given gathering share a goal with the attendees in wanting more than an “event” – they want an experience. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of a 2-part series on staffing. If you have a tale to share for Part 2 about where and how you have found new staffers, email Cheryl at email@example.com.
From Cheesecake Factory to Starbucks, across cruise lines and hotel chains, every US business suddenly seems to be overbooked and looking everywhere for potential new hires. And travel agencies are no exception.
The phones are ringing and the long wait times on hold with suppliers eat up precious hours of travel advisors’ days. On top of that, many are calling in sick as Covid takes one more swipe at the travel industry, and many more are out of the office on their own long-postponed vacations, at training sessions they have put off for months or years, or on one of the abundant number of fam trips offered up when things were slow.
“Staffing is the number-one issue everywhere,” says Alex Sharpe, and the biggest concern of the attendees at Signature Travel Network’s quarterly Owners Meeting in New Jersey last month. “And hiring is the #1 opportunity Read the rest of this entry »
- Alvin Adriano as Director, Industry Affairs, joining ASTA from Premium member company Travelwise International in Fort Washington, MD, where he has served as President & CEO since 2008 while also serving on the board of ASTA’s Central Atlantic Chapter.
- Summer Corbitt as Director, Business Development, joining from Premium member company Uniglobe Travel Center, where she had served as Director of Sales and Marketing since 2016.
- Rob Fleming as Director, Information Technology, from the Society of Interventional Radiology since 2020 and before that Associated General Contractors of America since 2014.
- Mackenzie Drehoff as Manager, Events, from TriVistaUSA Design + Build and before that several stints in travel & hospitality, including Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, Sheraton Baltimore North and TK Restaurant Group.
- Emma Curran as Coordinator, Events (Attendees), from Indian Harbour Beach Oral Surgery in Indian Harbour Beach, FL.
- Erin Hulscher as Coordinator, Business Development, from the Alzheimer’s Association and before that several stints in travel & hospitality, including ASTA Premium member Travel and Transport, Inc. (now CTM North America) and KRAVE the Experience Day Spa.
- Sarah Little to Vice President, Business Development from Senior Director, Business Development. At ASTA since 2012, Sarah takes over ASTA’s business development and events portfolio, succeeding Kelly Bigel who left ASTA at the end of 2021.
- Erika Richter to Vice President, Communications & Marketing, from Senior Director, Communications. At ASTA since 2015, Erika will oversee ASTA’s internal and external communications responsibilities in addition to event and membership marketing.
- Jasmine Causey to Director, Chapter Relations, from Senior Manager, Chapter Relations. At ASTA since 2014, Jasmine will act as the main liaison between headquarters and the leadership of ASTA’s 50+ chapter around the country.
- Lou Altobelli to Manager, Advocacy, from Coordinator, Advocacy. At ASTA since 2019, Lou manages the day-to-day operation of ASTA’s political action committee (“ASTAPAC”) and grassroots activities, reporting to Advocacy VP Jessie Klement.
The House of Representatives recently amended and passed the Relief for Restaurants and Other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022 which, among other things, would help in the revitalization of small businesses with the impact of COVID.
If passed by the Senate, the impact would be to offer additional COVID relief to those gravely affected by the pandemic. H.R. 3807 provides funding worth $13 billion as grants to small businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19.
“The travel industry was the first hit by the pandemic and will be one of the last to recover,” commented Eben Peck, ASTA Executive Vice President, Advocacy. “According to recent ASTA member surveys, the average travel agency revenue levels are still down 71 percent compared to 2019. In addition to advocating for dedicated support for travel agencies, ASTA has consistently championed an industry-neutral approach to pandemic relief, where the businesses most severely impacted by COVID receive priority in obtaining financial assistance. This bill does exactly that, and we commend House Small Business Committee Chair Velazquez and Rep. Dean Phillips for their support for this comprehensive approach.”
Under H.R. 3807, small businesses must have a labor force of not more than 200 and a revenue loss of at least 40% from 2020 to 2021 in comparison to 2019. Other entities that could apply for the grant are self-employed individuals and independent contractors which the revenue loss criteria.
The maximum grant for a business, independent contractor, and a self-employed person is $1 million with the revenue loss calculated by diminishing the loss amount by any previous grants received by the applicant via the EIDL program and the Paycheck Protection Program. The law also dictates that those hit hardest by the pandemic are prioritized. If the business or applicant had an 80% or greater loss on revenue, they receive priority.
The Senate has not yet passed its version of a similar bill. Peck stated that “ASTA strongly urges Senators to adopt a similar industry-neutral approach instead of pursuing legislation where winners and losers are cherries picked by Congress across the varying sectors affected by the pandemic.”
Anita has been in the travel industry for over 28 years. She founded the host agency Ticket to Travel in 1993, which was merged into KHM Travel Group in 2020. Her voice has been one of inspiring the at-home advisor with books such as “How I Made a Small Fortune as a Home-Based Travel Agent”, and “From Home-Based to POWERHOUSE! – Marketing Strategies to take your Travel Passion to Profit”. Anita is currently the Vice President of CCTO (California Coalition of Travel Organizations), and the Vice President of Industry Relations at KHM Travel Group. Read the rest of this entry »