South Africa heads up Global Travel Agent Alliance

The Association of Southern African Travel Agents will be at the helm of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) with the appointment of ASATA CEO Otto de Vries as the global travel agent alliance’s Chairperson.

As the global voice of the travel agency distribution channel, WTAAA meets twice a year to discuss issues that impact the global travel agency industry and to share common problem-solving strategies.

ASATA has been at the forefront of many of the agendas represented on the global travel stage by WTAAA, including our involvement in the Passenger Agency Programme Global Joint Council (PAPGJC), the IATA ADM working group and addressing travel agency concerns with new generation ISS.

The PAPGJC, the premier consultative forum between Agents and Airlines, which is empowered to consider and make recommendations to the Passenger Agency Conference on all aspects of the Agency Programme, remains the pre-eminent platform to discuss, recommend and give input to resolutions that directly affect travel agents operating in the Agency Programme.

Key areas of focus for ASATA and the WTAAA have been, and will continue to be understanding the impact of IATA’s New Distribution Capability for travel agents, exploring options to overcome possible obstacles to successful NDC implementation, and addressing issues from the perspectives of large, medium and small agencies.

Furthermore, the IATA ADM Working Group, on which ASATA sits, aims to identify the root causes behind the issuing of ADMs with a view to reducing these through training and improved controls, which will greatly benefit all travel agents within South Africa.

“With our new role as chair of this global association comes the opportunity for ASATA to even further advance the needs of its travel agent membership in South Africa, placing us at the forefront of discussions and giving us an opportunity to influence policies that impact all levels of our membership, from agency owner right to the consultant.

“Our appointment as the Chair of WTAAA, which represents travel agency groupings in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Brazil, Australia, Asia and 31 European countries, is a testament to ASATA’s proactive and impactful contribution on the global travel agency stage. We look forward to championing the concerns and causes of not only our members, but the entire global travel agency community over the coming year,” concludes de Vries.