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United States Tour Operators Association

What is USTOA?,,,,,.....,,,,,
A national organization of wholesale tour operators in the U.S.
founded in 1972,

What is a Tour Operator?
An entity whose primary purpose is to plan, arrange and market tours and/or vacation packages featuring domestic and/or worldwide destinations. The cost of such tour and vacation packages generally includes air and/or land transportation, ground arrangements such as accommodations, meals, local guides and other related services. The tour and vacation packages are commissionable to retail travel agents, who, in turn, sell the product to the public.

USTOA Offices
275 Madison Avenue, Suite 2014, New York, NY 10016
(212) 599-6599; Fax: (212) 599-6744; e-mail:
USTOA Web Address:

USTOA's Mission

* Inform the travel industry, government agencies and the public about tour operators' activities and objectives.

* Educate consumers on matters pertaining to tours and vacation packages.

* Help consumers recoup financial loss arising from an Active Member's bankruptcy or insolvency.

* Help maintain a high level of professionalism within the tour operator industry.

* Represent the tour operator community and cooperate with other trade organizations and government agencies.

* Facilitate and encourage tourism on a worldwide basis.

USTOA's Principles

USTOA Active Members pledge to adhere to the following principles:

Ethical Conduct:

Members must conduct business with competence and professionalism, representing truthfully and accurately all facts, conditions and requirements relating to their tours and travel packages.

Truth In Advertising:

Advertising and quoting of prices must clearly show total deliverable prices, accurately identifying facilities, accommodations and services used. Any changes or substitutions must be communicated expeditiously to the travel agent and/or client involved.

Ethical and Financial Responsibility:

Active members' business conduct must instill confidence in their financial stability, reliability and integrity.


Membership More than 800 members

Membership Categories

Active: 57 members, representing more than 135 brand names

Associate: 264 members

Allied: 462 members

Active Members'

Total Sales Volume....,,,,,$8 billion (1999)

Total Passengers Carried by Active Members....,,,,,10 million (1999)

Membership Requirements

Active Members

* Must meet the definition of a tour operator (see page 1). In addition, they must have 16 references from reputable travel industry organizations, plus two from USTOA Active Members.

* Must be in business at least three years under same ownership and/or management.

* Must meet specific minimums in terms of passengers and/or sales volume.

* Must carry minimum $1,000,000 of professional Travel Agent/Tour Operator liability insurance, with worldwide coverage.

* Must participate in USTOA's Consumer Protection Plan by posting $1 million in the form of either a bond or letter of credit, for use in reimbursing consumers in the event of the member's bankruptcy or insolvency.

Associate Members

Organizations, common carriers and suppliers of tour products and services, other entities connected with travel not directly serving travelers on tour itineraries.

Allied Members

Carriers (other than common carriers) and suppliers whose products or services bring them into contact with travelers on tour itineraries; also trade press, media, public relations firms, and advertising agencies.

Public Relations Contact:
Linda Kundell Communications
(212) 877-2798, (212) 877-3387 fax

Web Site: