SEP 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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²ConventionSouth ² S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 6 headlines, trends& ideas In August, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) changed its name to the American Society of Travel Advisors, bringing its subsidiary National Association of Career Travel Agents (NAC- TA) under the ASTA banner as the "ASTA Small Business Network" and launching a major consumer awareness campaign at the ASTA Global Convention in Washington, D.C. "Travel agents are not just booking agents anymore," the announcement stated. "We've EHFRPHWUXVWHGDGYLVRUV±DNLQWR¿QDQFLDO advisors and CPAs – who make the overall travel experience better, and get leisure and business travelers maximum value for their travel dollar." The stated mission of the new ASTA is "to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective repre- sentation, shared knowledge and the enhance- ment of professionalism." Founded in 1931 as the American Steamship and Tourist Advisors' $VVRFLDWLRQ$67$DQGLWVDI¿OLDWHVDUHQRZ the world's largest travel trade association, with members in 140 countries. Q Sexual Harassment In Meetings Industry A majority of respondents to a recent #MeetingsToo survey, conducted by MeetingsNet, indicated that they have experienced sexual harassment in the meetings industry and workplace. According to the results, published in August, 56 percent of female meeting executives and 31 percent of male meeting executives said they have been sexually harassed in a profes- sional environment. Females reported the greatest amount of harassment in the office (30 percent), at conferences (29 percent), after hours at a confer- ence or meeting (27 percent) and at a business-related special event (26 percent). For males, the greatest amount of harassment was reported in the office (19 percent), after hours at a conference or meeting (15 per- cent), at a conference (14 percent) and at a business-related special event (14 percent). Additionally, 45 percent of female executives and 52 percent of male executives indicated that they have witnessed someone else being sexually harassed. In response to the sexual harassment, 41 percent of male respondents and 34 percent of female respondents said they confronted the harasser directly, while 11 percent of males and 27 percent of females reported the incident to a manager, human resources or other in-house authority. A small percentage (18 percent) of all respondents were very satisfied with the way the harassment was handled, while 36 percent were very dissatisfied. Q ASTA Rebrands to American Society of Travel Advisors According to a report released in August by U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) following his investi- gation into the travel insurance industry, "air travelers are subject to heavy pressure to purchase travel insurance that offers minimal coverage despite extensive promises." The investigation included a review of the websites of nine major airlines and seven frequently vis- ited online travel agencies (OTAs). Major findings of the report include: Q Travelers spent $2.8 billion on travel protection in 2016, 2.5 times more than they spent in 2004, with airlines and OTAs earning an undisclosed fee on every policy sold. QThe airline and OTA online-ticketing process encourages and pressures travelers to buy travel insurance, with 15 of the 16 companies evaluated not allowing travelers to purchase airplane tickets without buying or declining to buy recommended travel insurance. QAirline and OTA websites offer only bare-bones travel insurance plans with little coverage and a long list of exclusions that leave customers stranded. QThe airline and OTA websites commonly overstate policies' flexibility and bury the details of coverage limitations in fine print. Only two travel insurance companies provide 93 percent of the policies offered on airline and OTA websites. The report recommends that customers know the risk against which they want to be insured and carefully read the terms and conditions of any travel insurance policy before purchase. Markey also recommends that airlines return to charging fair prices for services such as ticket changes and cancellations, as well as be more transparent in the sale of travel insurance policies . Q Report Questions Value of Travel Insurance

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