Established in 1956, the Association of Southern African Travel Agents is a representative forum that promotes professional service in the travel industry for both members and their clients. Representing over 95% of the travel industry in terms of market share, ASATA’s membership is voluntary and includes South African retail travel agents, travel management companies, wholesalers and suppliers of travel-related products and services.

The association’s focus is to ensure the sustainability and profitability of our members as well as the delivery of a professional service to the travelling consumer. This is achieved, inter-alia, through strong relationships and an open dialogue with all stakeholders.

Travellers who entrust their travel in the hands of an ASATA-accredited agency are assured of professional service, ethical conduct, trustworthy behaviour and that they are dealing with a market leader so they can Travel with Peace of Mind.



To champion ASATA members as the consumer’s channel of choice when buying travel products and services.


To support our members in meeting consumers’ needs of value and security through developing and maintaining the highest level of expertise and professionalism.


To create and maintain the highest possible standard of integrity amongst ASATA members in dealing with consumers, principals and each other …read more


The first ASATA meeting took place in Johannesburg on 4 September 1956. At that time, the travel business was developing at a rapid rate, and it was felt that a trade association would help protect and promote the interests of industry members and the travelling public. This was in line with what was happening in the global travel industry at the same time.

ASATA’s first priority was to standardise hotel commission rates among travel agents. To do this, the association approached the SA Hotel Association (FEDHASA) to secure standard rates of hotel commissions among travel agents. This drive for standardisation later extended to cruise liners and airlines.

Other agenda topics during this period included the role of ASATA with IATA, forming a close liaison with SAA and other airlines, service charges and the issue of charging VAT on travel products. ASATA was also instrumental in the introduction of Billing and Settlement Plans (BSP) in South Africa.

Even though ASATA was relatively small in its early days, it still managed to win concessions from the airlines, railways and government. Most notably, it helped to stabilise the travel industry for the years to come