Become A Member

USTOA is a voluntary trade association with two categories of membership

Service Providers to Active Members

U.S. Based Tour Operators

Last Updated: June 14, 2016

An invitation to join USTOA as an Associate Member is extended to travel service providers,  ground operators, common airline carriers, head offices of organizations, associations and locations of suppliers of tour products and services, government agencies and others interested in developing travel.  Associate Membership is open to such companies that share USTOA's interests and purposes, to encourage and support professional and financial integrity in tourism and in the future of the travel industry.

Why Join USTOA?

  • Recognized by travel agents, consumers and the press as the standard of excellence and leading association of its kind
  • The buying power of USTOA Membership: $13.5 billion travel packages sold, 8 million travelers yearly, $9.8 billion goods and services purchased
  • Connections to industry leaders and membership representing top destinations and suppliers from around the world
  • Social responsibility, we are proud co-founders of Tourism Cares, the industry’s philanthropic organization

Benefits of Associate Membership

  • Invited to take part in the member-only USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace, held in early December every year. The conference is more than just another networking event. Associate Members have an opportunity to interface with top executives from worldwide tour operators on a one to one, buy and sell basis, and really build meaningful partnerships that can take their business to the next level.

    Members will also be able to participate in (or attend) state of the art symposiums that are both educational and interactive, and profit from the experience of industry leaders. Keynote speakers and expert panel discussions will help inspire and educate you to adhere to best practices, be an early adopter of trends and help you expand your global business.

  • Receive the opportunity to feature the appropriate USTOA logo on their marketing materials.
  • Invitations to all events including webinars, Business After Hours networking mixers, and periodic events held throughout the year like the Congressional Caucus.

Advocacy

  • Effective representation at the USTOA Congressional Caucus
  • Proactive engagement with lawmakers at state, federal, or international levels

Education

  • Seminars, Workshops, and Research such as:
    • Human Services Response Training
    • Innovation Lab with Cornell University
  • Webinars
  • Packaged Travel Index

Business Development

  • Annual Conference & Marketplace
  • Business After Hours events
  • Facebook Coffee Chats
  • Social Media Channels

Exposure

  • Tour Review Site
  • Co-Op Marketing
  • Enhanced Visibility to Consumers and Travel Agents
  • Listing in annual Business Resource Member Guide

USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace

The USTOA Annual Conference and Marketplace enables Associate Members to meet with top executives from the Active Member tour operators on a one-to-one, buy-and-sell basis. An additional fee is required to attend the Annual Conference.

USTOA Business Resource

USTOA publishes an annual membership publication: USTOA Business Resource, for the travel trade. Travel Weekly produces the guide and distributes it with its issue in late December. In order to be listed in the USTOA Business Resource, your membership application and payment of annual dues must be received by August 31, 2016.

Current Associate Member Categories

 Advertising and Public Relations  Insurance - Medical Assistance
 Airlines  Legal Services
 Airport Authority  Marketing - Travel Related Services
 Attractions/Museums/Restaurants  Media
 Car Rental  Technology - Reservations Systems
 Cruise Line/Cruise Operator  Tourist Board
 Financial Services  Trade Association
 Ground Operators - Service  Trade Show
 Hotels and Resorts  Visa and Passport Services

Qualifications

It should be noted that Associate Membership is not available to companies that have an office in the United States and sell tours to the North America travel market. These companies are eligible, subject to certain requirements, to join USTOA as an Active Member.

Most Associate Members of USTOA are permitted to use the ASSOCIATE MEMBER logo on certain materials provided they strictly observe the logo guidelines. In order to clarify possible confusion about membership type, any use of the Associate Member logo in commercial materials must also include the following information in the general conditions section:

"(COMPANY NAME) is an Associate Member of the United States Tour Operators Association. However, (COMPANY NAME) is NOT a participant in the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program and is not held by USTOA to certain standards required of Active Members."

All new Associate Membership applications MUST now have TWO sponsor companies indicated on their application before it is submitted. One of the two sponsor companies must be a current Active Member and the other can be a current Associate Member. The sponsors will be contacted for a reference. Companies desiring to apply for Associate Membership who have no prior business dealings with Active or Associate Members, should contact the office of USTOA directly to discuss alternatives to this sponsorship requirement.

Annual Dues

The Associate Member annual dues per company are $800 per calendar year and are not prorated.

Associate Membership Online Application Benefits & Info PDF
Last Updated: June 14, 2016

An Active Member is defined as a tour operator that conducts business in the United States, and has been in business for at least three years. All Active Members adhere to USTOA's strict code of ethics, which is framed by a pledge to encourage and maintain the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and service.

All USTOA Active Members participate in USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program, which offers consumers protection and peace of mind in the event of the company's bankruptcy,  insolvency or cessation of business.  USTOA Active Tour Operators carry the USTOA logo on their printed materials and/or websites, indicating their participation in the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program.

Why Join USTOA?

  • USTOA is the only travel industry organization whose membership is exempt from the trust account requirements of theCalifornia Seller of Travel Law
  • Recognized by travel agents, consumers and the press as the standard of excellence and leading association of its kind
  • The buying power of USTOA Membership: $13.5 billion travel packages sold, 8 million travelers yearly, $9.8 billion goods and services purchased
  • Connections to industry leaders and membership representing top destinations and suppliers from around the world
  • Social responsibility, we are proud co-founders of Tourism Cares, the industry’s philanthropic organization

Benefits of Active Membership

  • Invited to take part in the member-only USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace, held in early December every year. The conference is more than just another networking event. Associate Members have an opportunity to interface with top executives from worldwide tour operators on a one to one, buy and sell basis, and really build meaningful partnerships that can take their business to the next level.

    Members will also be able to participate in (or attend) state of the art symposiums that are both educational and interactive, and profit from the experience of industry leaders. Keynote speakers and expert panel discussions will help inspire and educate you to adhere to best practices, be an early adopter of trends and help you expand your global business.

  • Receive the opportunity to feature the appropriate USTOA logo on their marketing materials.
  • Invitations to all events including webinars, Business After Hours networking mixers, and periodic events held throughout the year like the Congressional Caucus.

Advocacy

  • Effective representation at the USTOA Congressional Caucus
  • Proactive engagement with lawmakers at state, federal, or international levels

Education

  • Seminars, Workshops, and Research such as:
    • Human Services Response Training
    • Innovation Lab with Cornell University
  • Webinars
  • Packaged Travel Index

Networking

  • Annual Conference & Marketplace
  • Business After Hours events
  • Facebook Coffee Chats
  • Social Media Channels

Exposure

  • Tour Review Site
  • Co-Op Marketing
  • Enhanced Visibility to Consumers and Travel Agents
  • Active Member logo on your website and Marketing Materials

Qualifications

An Active Member is defined as a tour operator that has conducted business in the United States for at least three years.

To become an Active Member of USTOA, a tour operator company must:

  • meet the definition of a Tour Operator
  • provide a total of 18 references on its application from a variety of industry sources and financial institutions, including two current Active Members as sponsors. 
  • be formed as a wholesale Tour Operator under the laws of one or more State(s) within the United States and have actively conducted business in one or more of said States for not less than three (3) years and continue at all times during membership to actively conduct business in one or more of said States; and have operated their business as a wholesale Tour Operator under the same ownership and/or management for not less than three (3) years, except that the same ownership and/or management for not less than three (3) years shall no be required for commencement or continuation of Active Membership of a Tour Operator, ownership of which is acquired by another Active Member in good standing
  • carry a minimum of $1,000,000 professional Travel Agent/Tour Operator liability insurance, with worldwide coverage
  • participate in the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program by posting $1 million in the form of a letter of credit, bond or US Treasury bill, for use in reimbursing consumer deposits in case of bankruptcy, insolvency or cessation of business.

Annual Dues

The Active Member annual dues range from $4,000 to $11,500 per year upon the basis of its combined tour business volume including all Brands for which the Active Member logo is used. There is an additional $1,000 fee for each Brand listed under your company membership.

Active Membership Application Form Benefits & Info PDF