ASTA Wraps Up Record-Breaking Global Convention, Plans 2023 Event in Puerto Rico

Debby Corwin, TAToolkit Inc., ASTA Entrepreneur of the Year (photo courtesy ASTA)

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) concluded its successful 2022 Global Convention in San Francisco with new words to guide travel advisors, record ASTAPAC fundraising ($375,000) and the recognition of a host of honorees.

The conference provided a wide variety of educational opportunities to travel advisors as well and the chance to meet one-on-one with top suppliers during a well-attended trade show, which took place over three days, August 24-26 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.

ASTA highlighted its many legislative efforts over the last year during two general sessions and during the ASTA Advocacy Dinner, held Thursday at the Palace Hotel. The evening raises money for the association’s ongoing efforts and honors those who have worked tirelessly on behalf of ASTA’s travel advisor and travel industry members.

“This evening highlights the importance of working together for our common good. This dinner always rejuvenates my faith in our combined strength. I hope it does the same for you,” said Zane Kerby, ASTA president and CEO.

Arnold Donald, vice-chair of Carnival Corporation received ASTA’s Lifetime Achievement award at the dinner.

ASTA Wraps Up Record-Breaking Global Convention, Plans 2023 Event in Puerto Rico

Arnold Donald receives ASTA Lifetime Achievement Award from Zane Kerby (photo courtesy ASTA)

“It is an honor to be recognized in such a special way by ASTA,” said Donald in accepting the award. “In reality, our accomplishments over the years are the direct results of the outstanding work by the dedicated men and women in our global workforce and the travel professionals who strive always to exceed our guests’ expectations.”

The second general session honored travel agent of the year, Melinda Fortunato, CEO of Best Travel as well as ASTA’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Debby Corwin, whose TAToolkit provides advisors a search tool that enables them to quickly find the best resort for their client based on select criteria.

Next year, ASTA’s Global Convention will take place earlier in the year and in Puerto Rico.

“Because variety is the spice of life, the ASTA global convention moves location each year,” said Kerby. “Next year, we’re excited to be partnering with Puerto Rico and are moving the Convention to early May. Puerto Rico has been a magical partner. They’re hosting 60 convention attendees for 2-night excursions to other parts of the island. They’ve agreed to host a prominent entertainer of Puerto Rican descent to join us at the convention. I can’t tell you right now, but the options under consideration are BIG!”

ASTA Wraps Up Record-Breaking Global Convention, Plans 2023 Event in Puerto Rico

Andrew McCarthy speaks at ASTA Global Convention 2022 (photo courtesy ASTA)

The general session concluded with an address from keynote speaker, actor, director and travel writer Andrew McCarthy, who spoke about how travel overcomes fear.

“Fear is our greatest foe in the world today,” said McCarthy, “And travel is the answer. It’s the greatest antidote.”

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