The World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) held its annual General Assembly and bi-annual Board meeting in Bilbao, Spain, November 3-4, 2015 and reelected the executive committee. The following re-elected WTAAA Executive Committee will hold a one-year term:
Chair – Mr Jayson Westbury (AFTA)
Vice Chair – Mr Otto de Vries (ASATA)
Treasurer – Mr Peter Barlow (TAANZ)
The following newly elected WTAAA Board (Directors, Deputy Directors) will also hold a two- year-term:
USA (ASTA): Mr Mark Meader
Canada (ACTA): Ms Mary-Jane Hiebert
All other Directors and Deputy Directors remain in term for a further one year of their two-year term.
The WTAAA board consider many important issues facing the travel agency community across the globe and confirmed the recent decision of the IATA Passenger Conference to defer the implementation of new arrangements for websales settlement via the billing settlement plan (BSP). WTAAA had made significant representation concerning the unreasonable proposals put forward for changes to these arrangements and the global ramifications. We look forward to working with the IATA and their member airlines to agree an acceptable solution for the BSP.
The WTAAA board also reviewed the IATA new generation settlement and accreditation plans and will continue to work with IATA to develop appropriate solutions for the travel agents that continue to have accreditation with IATA.
The board also looked at a number of other important industry issues and have committed to work with governments across the globe to tackle the challenge of border control requirements whilst still allowing people from all walks of life to travel freely across borders without burdensome and unnecessary visa regimes that do nothing but complicate travel and raise costs to the traveler.
“Board members of the WTAAA represent travel agents across much of the globe and it is clear that there are many issues of commonality which need to be addressed” said Jay Westbury, WTAAA Chair.
“Together with the wider travel and tourism industry across the world, we are committed to interacting with governments and regulatory bodies to stimulate positive change. With modern advances in bio metrics and intelligence sharing, surely governments can remove themselves from issuing visas and requiring travelers to jump unnecessary hurdles to travel freely as tourists and enhance the visitor economy across the globe” Westbury said.
The WTAAA will continue to advocate for change in this area and on other matters that will make travel easier for everyone without any threat to sovereign national security.