Travel agency owners form professional alliance

Bob Older, president of Creative Travel Inc., has announced the formation of First State Travel…

Bob Older, president of Creative Travel Inc., has announced the formation of First State Travel Professionals Alliance, a nonprofit membership organization of local agencies, agents and vendors that support them.

In 2020, travel has been one of the industries most affected by theCOVID-19 pandemic. While many business sectors have endured massive losses, travel agencies across the country and in Delaware are expected to lose 18-24 months’ worth of income.

The State of Delaware did not recognize the travel industry as disproportionately affected and thereby eligible for state-based relief. Many travel agency owners disagree with the decision that a loss of over 100 employees statewide was not enough to qualify for relief funds, since it was largely based on misinformation that travel agents operated on a 25 percent profit margin instead of an actual 8-15 percent. Those owners also contend that travel industry losses in Delaware were not an insignificant economic impact to the state as believed by the Governor’s Office.

In response, Older has brought together several travel agency owners to create this alliance. The group’s mission will include being an advocate on issues that impact Delaware’s travel industry and members in the state. The organization will also promote professionalism and ethics within the travel industry in Delaware and surrounding areas through educational programs and seminars, and educate the general public about travel and the importance of using alliance members who will be held to strong ethical standards.

Members will be required to show State of Delaware licensing and follow ethical practices. While other industries may receive immediate financial relief once the pandemic subsides, travel agents and agencies may continue to experience financial hardships because they will have to wait 3-12 months to receive commissions from their bookings.

A website including a list of properly licensed members is coming soon at www.fstpa.org.

For more information, contact Bob Older at 302-658-2900.