ASATA Column: Young Professionals in Travel


People are the essence of our business, and retaining and maintaining their talents is key to ASATA’s continuing success. With this in mind, we need to create a more conducive environment and platform for young people in the travel industry. As part of our strategy to achieve this, we have decided to form the Young Professionals in Travel chapter, or YPT.

 From time to time, the travel industry bemoans the fact that, as the agent community ages, there is a lack of ‘new blood’ choosing retail travel sales as a career path. The aim of the YPT chapter is to help change that reality.

YPT is a free programme for ASATA members and employees under the age of 40. This chapter will meet, network and engage their peers to help better understand their place in our industry, the role they play and the contribution they can make to the development, growth and sustainability of the travel industry. 

Other objectives of the programme are to identify future leaders and nurture them through a mentorship programme; promote travel careers and encourage young people to become travel professionals; and develop future regional and national leaders of ASATA. 

Young professionals have the opportunity to be involved with ASATA through joining the YPT chapter, its steering committee, or the chapter board, or serving in an elected position on one of ASATA’s regional committees.

At the recent ASATA Diners Club Awards at Montecasino in Johannesburg, it was announced that the winner in the Tomorrow’s Leader category will be one of the founding members and will help establish the YPT chapter, ensuring that the programme is relevant and motivating the new generation of travel professionals. Besides having a networking platform, the YPT chapter will offer educational opportunities and also include some elements of fun.

The Young Professionals in Travel will be launched at the upcoming ASATA Conference at the African Pride Arabella Hotel and Spa in Hermanus, in the Western Cape of South Africa, in May. If you are interested in participating in this new chapter, please contact Jacqui McKnight at  

Otto de Vries

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