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Published on : Thursday, November 14, 2013
At the invitation of the 1st World Summit of Presidents of Travel Agents Associations which was held on November 8th-9th, the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) held its bi-annual board meeting in Cordoba, Spain November 6th -7th. WTAAA meets twice a year to discuss issues that impact the global travel agency industry, and to share common problem-solving strategies.
This meeting included the annual general assembly of WTAAA at which Lars Thykier (ETCAA) was re-elected Chairman and David McCaig (ACTA) Vice Chairman.
“Travel is a global industry and the WTAAA brings a collaborative approach to discussing the many issues that the travel distribution value chain is confronted with and our agenda is designed to develop policy and outcomes that benefits travel agencies across the globe.” said WTAAA Chairman Lars Thykier. “WTAAA which represents over 80% of travel agents around the World is the global voice of the travel agent.” said Thykier.
WTAAA’s agenda included discussions on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC), membership expansion, new allied membership opportunities and various other important industry issues.
WTAAA is closely monitoring IATA’s NDC project and continues to encourage IATA to maintain an open dialogue on NDC and to ensure that travel agents views are taken seriously.
The WTAAA has taken the following policy platform on IATA’s NDC.
• WTAAAs position on NDC is driven by travel agent customer’s needs and expectations.
• NDC is mainly an airline-GDS technology issue which they must resolve.
• WTAAA does support the improvement of the distribution of airline product merchandising.
• NDC must deliver a standard that enhances travel agency customers’ shopping experience.
• NDC must provide anonymous shopping as an option for all consumers and comparison shopping must not be restricted
• WTAAA will continue to engage with stakeholders on NDC-issues.
• WTAAA will look to support any appropriate solution that addresses these needs.
The WTAAA will continue to work on the many issues facing travel agencies around the world and this will include ongoing dialog with the airlines, cruise companies, car rental, hotels and everyone involved in the travel industry.
”Travel Agents have a bright future and with the dedicated global representation of the WTAAA many of the challenges that stretch across the 6 continents of the globe can be addressed by our movement” said Thykier.
The next WTAAA board meeting will be held in Asia in the first quarter of 2014 in recognition of the fast pace emergence of this travel market.