The need for full transparency to buyers of airline fares, fees and content took center stage during a meeting of the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11-12, 2012.
Peter Barlow, outgoing WTAAA chairman, said the need for full transparency is a global issue. "This is not just a U.S. issue. All travel professionals, regardless of where they are located, must be presented with an accurate view of the full cost of transportation so that full transparency and transactability can be provided to buyers,"
"This meeting was one of our most important meetings since we charted the organization in 2008," said Barlow. "There are many global issues impacting our members and their customers, from slow visa facilitation to the slowly rebounding global economy. Yet, of all the issues, the one that clearly stands out is the need for full transparency to buyers of fares, fees and content."
Barlow reports that the WTAAA board unanimously agreed to support the Open Allies for Airfare Transparency coalition.
During its two-day meeting, WTAAA reports it met with Mike Premo, CEO and president of the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) and with Chris Austin, vice president of global retail, leisure and luxury sales at Starwood. WTAAA also met with and joined the Open Allies for Airfare Transparency coalition.
WTAAA reports it also elected a new chair, Lars Thykier of the European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Associations (ECTAA) and a new vice-chair, Dave McCaig of the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA). The group also re-elected Jayson Westbury of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) as treasurer.
WTAAA thanked Peter Barlow of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (ANZ) for his service as outgoing WTAAA chair and welcomed Leonel Rossi of the Association of Brazilian Travel Agencies (ABAV) as WTAAA's newest association member.
Sao Paolo, Brazil was selected as the location of the next WTAAA meeting in March 2013.
WTAAA also welcomed new board directors, Nina Meyer of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and Praveen Chugh of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).