Newark travel agency owner forms trade group

Reading Time: 2 minutes A travel agent group has been formed in Delaware. Newark travel…

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A travel agent group has been formed in Delaware.

Newark travel agency owner Bob Older recently announced the formation of the First State Travel Professionals Alliance. Older is also the founder of the Delaware Small Business Chamber.

A release from Older said the “State of Delaware did not recognize the travel industry as disproportionately affected and thereby eligible for state-based relief grants.”

He said that policy was based on the mistaken view that travel agents operated on a 25 percent profit margin instead of an actual 8-15 percent.

The Delaware Division of Small Business issued the following:

“Delaware travel agencies are indeed eligible for the DE Relief Grants program and many have applied and been awarded funding. To date, travel agencies have been awarded more than $600,000 through the DE Relief Grants program, which is a joint program of the state of Delaware and New Castle County using federal CARES Act funds. The $600,000 figure includes a 20 percent bonus that was awarded to all grant recipients, regardless of industry. The DE Relief Grants program reopened its application portal to new applicants on Jan. 19 and we welcome travel agencies and other businesses that have not applied for a grant previously to apply.”

Older disputed the statement. “They have not give travel agents over $600,000,” Older stated. “They may have included the motor coach industry in those numbers.”

According to Older, the travel group’s mission will include advocacy on issues that impact the industry.

The organization will also promote professionalism and ethics within the travel industry in Delaware and surrounding areas, through educational programs and seminars, a release stated.

The association will be a 501(c)6 membership organization of local agencies, agents and vendors that support the agencies. Members will be required to show State of Delaware licensing and follow ethical practices.

The website for the First State Travel Professionals Alliance, which will include a list of properly licensed members, is coming soon. Further information can be obtained from Older at 302-658-2900.