in February 1931 when 60 travel agents gathered
at the Montclair Hotel in New York.
On April 20th a constitution,
by-laws and a statement on their Code of Ethics were adopted and
11 members signed up. By the end of the year 150 members were on
board and their first annual convention was held in November.
Seventy years later more than 26,000 members in 170 countries
participate in ASTA's mission to enhance the professionalism of
its members through effective representation in industry,
government affairs, education, training, and by identifying and
meeting the needs of the traveling public.
Long Island ASTA History
The year was 1965 (which means that LIASTA is celebrating its
38th Anniversary this year) and the number of travel agencies
was growing on Long Island. Agents who belonged to NYASTA found
it inconvenient going into Manhattan for evening meetings and
returning late. So, the need for a Long Island Chapter was felt
even by National ASTA, then headquartered in NYC.
In the Fall of 1965 Jim Panos was appointed Liaison Officer to
work with National ASTA to form a Long Island Chapter.
Within a few months the necessary nucleus was formed and the
first official meeting was held November 19, 1965 at the
Huntington Town House (price $4.70 inclusive). About 25 agents
were in attendance including, but not limited to, Bob Peterson;
Joe Ryan; Tony Oliveri; Max Petschek; Joe Buckhauller; Edie
Patchogue; Bill Ganses; Billie Holme; Dick Sturm; Lillian
Greenspan, Sanford Hersey; Paul Sabatino; Eric Kessler. It was a
pleasant and historic evening.
The elections held that night resulted in the first Board: Jim
Panos President; Evelyn Ryan, Vice President; Marion Burkhalter,
Secretary; Ulrich Arnheim, Treasurer. Thereafter meetings were
held at the old Garden City Hotel where plans were formulated to
increase chapter membership. Within a year membership increased
to 60 agencies and 24 Allied members.
A first for any ASTA chapter was the in-the-country meeting to
Arizona, Grand Canyon and San Francisco, in keeping with the US
government's Discover America Program
at the time to benefit our balance of payments. For this, the
chapter received a letter of commendation from the then Vice
President Hubert H. Humphrey.
It is 36 years since those humble beginnings and the face of the
travel industry has changed considerably. Board meetings are
held periodically, chapter meetings are held once a month to
help inform and educate its members, and an annual Trade Show
provides its numerous allied members a venue it keep in touch
with members and their agents.
LIASTA July 1990 Newsletter
Jim Panos and updated by