TORONTO — The National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA) says it is affirming its faith in the growth of independent travel consultants in Canada by seeking strategic partnerships with Canadian host agencies, according to the association’s president.
Ann van Leeuwen, head of NACTA, said that, after an 18-month test of the Canadian travel market, the association is inviting all qualified career travel agents, host agencies and suppliers to apply to NACTA through its nacta.com website.
NACTA is a wholly-owned affiliate of ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents.
“We believe the number of career agents is growing and their effect on tourism is getting stronger day by day,” she said adding that NACTA “is the only association in North America designed to serve entrepreneurial travel agents, also known as ‘independent’ or ‘home-based’ agents”. NACTA has 45 chapters across the U.S. and will establish chapters in Canada.
“Our members are terrific at providing intensive, personal service to clients and at delivering specialized travel services to groups like seniors, disabled persons, wedding parties, ethnic communities and the cruising fraternity,” she said.
“We provide a long list of membership benefits including continuing education and social networking opportunities to expand the experiences and travel knowledge from member to member. Our current host agencies find this a tremendous benefit for agents.”
Agents who become members of NACTA have access to NACTA fams, destinationals, seminars, webinars, conferences and the proprietary community networking platform (NACTA Agent Digest), an e-mailed networking tool with daily leads, ideas and tips for members.
Occasionally host agencies provide speakers for NACTA Seminars-At-Sea and webinars. They can sponsor chapter meetings and other events as well as see profile articles about themselves and their agents in NACTA’s quarterly Agent Life Canada magazine distributed digitally to thousands of agents across the country.
Host agencies and agents are included in NACTA’s online directories.
Membership packages for host agencies vary depending on the level of involvement while annual membership for Canadian agents is $189. Host agencies and independent agents can get more information and register at nacta.com.
“We are enthusiastic about the future for career travel agents in Canada and are eager to help them enhance their skills and talents individually and in league with their host agencies and suppliers,” said NACTA’s President van Leeuwen.