Published On: Thu, Apr 16th, 2015

WTAAA meets to champion travel agents across the globe

WTAAA-FINAL-WEB-LOGO1The World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) has met in Toronto, Canada, for its first board meeting for 2015 and has discussed many issues facing travel agents and the travel industry at a global level.

The issue of airline fuel surcharges emerged prominently at the WTAAA’s first board meeting of 2015 with the WTAAA of the view that fuel surcharging is no longer acceptable for airlines to levy given the many changes to consumer laws and inclusive pricing legislation that is sweeping the globe.

WTAAA members also discussed the International Air Transport Association (IATA) resolutions applicable to the agency program and the changes that were needed to enable a better working agreement between airlines and travel agents. Specifically addressed were matters of reasonable timeframes for refunds and airlines’ compliance with a range of resolutions, including the airlines’ abuse of the Agency Debit Memo (ADM).

Furthermore, the WTAAA will be making representations in due course via the engagement vehicle that has been established namely, the Passenger Agency Program Global Joint Council.

“WTAAA enjoys a robust and constructive relationship with IATA and this year we have a number of plans and proposals underway to improve the passenger program,” said Jayson Westbury, WTAAA Chair.

“The ever changing travel market place is always top of mind for the WTAAA as distribution remains a prominent factor for travel suppliers in all categories. Travel agents continue to play a pivotal role in the travel value chain and many factors impacting on this was addressed at this WTAAA meeting,” said Westbury.

“Our existing members, who represent the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Brazil, Australia and 31 European countries, look forward to working with other countries that see the value in engagement at a global level and WTAAA seeks to have those interested countries join as members,” concluded Westbury.
As the WTAAA looks to engage more in the global industry, the organization is considering the appointment of a Secretary General to underpin and support its ongoing efforts.

The next WTAAA board meeting will be held in Bilbao Spain, in conjunction with the 3rd Summit of Presidents of Travel Agents Associations in early November 2015.

The World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) was incorporated in 2008 as an international non-profit trade association in Brussels, Belgium. As the global voice of the travel agency distribution channel, WTAAA’s board of directors meet twice a year to discuss issues that impact the global travel agency industry and to share common problem-solving strategies. WTAAA’s current agenda includes discussions on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) New Distribution Capability (NDC), Airline Debit Memos (ADM) and various other industry issues.