A special day of sessions will be added next year for the benefit of ASTA’s international members, in addition to their participation in the regular program. International destinations and the embassy community are expected to play a large role in next year’s event. ASTA is represented in more than 100 countries, and has 21 international chapter presidents.
The association also aims to double the attendance for next year’s convention. All members were challenged to not only attend in 2015, but to find four others to sign up with them by Travel Leaders Franchise Group president Roger Block, who took over as ASTA board chairman at the conclusion of the 2014 convention.
Noting the shorter conference planned on land for 2015—versus the seven days at sea for this year’s conference—and the ease of access, ASTA president and ceo Zane Kerby expressed his confidence that ASTA can indeed draw 1,000 attendees to the US capital next year.
'This has been a year of growth for ASTA, both in membership and financially,' Kerby said. 'Because of agreements we made this year with some of our larger partners to either support or mandate membership in the association, we know 2015 is going to be a banner year, and the global convention will play a key role in that.'
To assist, the board has already set up subcommittees to work on the educational program, speaker lineup and entertainment.
In addition, ASTA's sister association, the National Association of Career Travel Agents, will hold its 2014 annual conference Oct. 30-Nov. 3 at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix. Also, the NACTA 2015 annual conference is scheduled for Kona, Hawaii, Nov. 8-12.