Marina del Rey resident Susan Tanzman has been named the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) 2005 Travel Agent of the Year.

She is owner and president of Martin’s Travel and Tours Incorporated in Palms.

The award recognizes an active travel agent and society member who has made a contribution to the travel industry and whose influence and professional activity have advanced the status of travel agents.

“Susan Tanzman has been at the forefront of promoting the travel agent throughout her career,” said Kathryn Sudeikis, ASTA president and chief executive officer.

Tanzman chaired ASTA’s 2002 World Travel Congress in Honolulu. She was co-chair of the ASTA Western Region, served on the society’s board of directors, and was the society vice president, national vice president, and secretary.

On the chapter level, she was president of the society’s Southern California Chapter, served as the chapter representative and president on the California Coalition of Travel Organizations board, and was chair of the chapter’s State Legislative Government Affairs committee.

She currently serves on the society’s Communications Committee and has served on a variety of task forces and committees such as Consumer Affairs, Congress, Government Affairs, and the Presidential Commission on the Airline Business.

She has been involved in developing and promoting the California Seller of Travel Law and has worked to eradicate travel scams.

Tanzman chaired three ASTA Travel Scam Conferences, was an expert witness on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission to shut down scam operators, and worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate and prosecute scam operators.

In 1981, she testified before a Congressional subcommittee on travel scams, which resulted in Congress passing a telemarketing bill.

She has been named by Travel Agent magazine as an “Outstanding Retail Professional,” one of the most “Powerful Women in Travel,” and one of the magazine’s “People of the Year.”

She has won other awards from Tour and Travel News, American Airlines, and the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality.

When not involved with ASTA committees and governance, Tanzman speaks to travel agents throughout the world on their legal rights and how to make a profit.

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