February 25, 2016
Alexandria, VA, February 25, 2016 – The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) today commended Hilton Worldwide for its recognition of the value trusted travel agents add as an extension of its brand and business. On February 16, Hilton launched a new campaign communicating that Hilton HHonors members can receive discounts on room rates not only when booking through its own channels, but also through preferred corporate travel partners and approved travel agents. The discount is available at more than 4,500 hotels around the world.
"Representatives of ASTA and Hilton have recently held discussions on a variety of industry issues of mutual concern. These discussions have been productive and we are appreciative of Hilton's willingness to engage with us," said ASTA President and CEO Zane Kerby. "Hilton's recognition of the contribution the agency channel makes to Hilton's success has not gone unnoticed. ASTA applauds Hilton for this action and we look forward to continued dialogue and progress on this and other topics."
"We celebrate this proactive move Hilton has made showing support for the value and viability of the travel agency community," said Lee Smolinski, CEO of Palm Coast Travel, an ASTA Premium member. "Being a partner with Hilton rather than simply a supplier is important to the substance of what we bring to our shared end-customer: the consumer."
"As we make travel easier and more rewarding through personalized experiences and benefits for our guests, we are 100 percent committed to the travel agent community, which of course includes ASTA members," said Andrew Flack, Hilton Worldwide, Vice President, Global Marketing. "We always have and continue to offer access to the same rates and exclusive HHonors benefits for travel agent bookings as through our own direct channels, like Hilton.com and the HHonors app."
"Hilton's reward and recognition of the value travel agents bring to the table is smart and will ensure the traveler gets far more than if booked in any other way – more support, better advice, more cost and time savings – a better value to the traveler overall. I commend Hilton for clearly acknowledging the importance of the travel agent community and for highlighting the worth of this mutually beneficial relationship," said Karen Goldberg, Managing Director, Hotels & Resorts at Virtuoso and an ASTA Hotel Distribution agenty Committee Member.
Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit ASTA.org. Consumers can connect with an ASTA travel advisor at TravelSense.org.