Global of­fice in Is­tan­bul by Aug end

In a bid to fa­cil­i­tate free flow of tourists across the globe and en­cour­age travel pro­fes­sion­als to work to­gether, the United Fed­er­a­tion of Travel Agents’ As­so­ci­a­tions (UFTAA) will be open­ing a Global Tourism Of­fice in Is­tan­bul, Turkey, by the end of Augu

TravTalk - India - - UFTAA TALK - SHIVANI KAUL SALERNO, ITALY €

The United Fed­er­a­tion of Travel Agents’ As­so­ci­a­tions (UFTAA) or­gan­ised its Mid-Year Fo­rum from July 25-27, 2017, in the city of Salerno, rest­ing on the beau­ti­ful gulf of Cam­pa­nia re­gion in Italy. The Fo­rum wit­nessed de­lib­er­a­tions on press­ing is­sues af­fect­ing travel agents with rep­re­sen­ta­tions from as­so­ci­a­tions from across the globe. The fo­rum also co­in­cided with the 3rd UFTAA Board meet­ing led by Pres­i­dent Su­nil Ku­mar R. dur­ing which var­i­ous mat­ters were dis­cussed. UFTAA Vice Pres­i­dent Yossi Fatael ad­dressed the gath­er­ing on IATA’s New Dis­tri­bu­tion Ca­pa­bil­ity (NDC), New­Gen ISS and other IATA mat­ters. A spe­cial in­ter­ac­tion with Juan An­to­nio Ro­driguez, Di­rec­tor, FDS, IATA also took place dur­ing the Fo­rum.

Ad­dress­ing the Fo­rum, Ku­mar re­vealed that the as­so­ci­a­tion is launch­ing a global tourism of­fice in Is­tan­bul (Turkey) in the month of Au­gust. “UFTAA Global Tourism Of­fice at Is­tan­bul is a new ini­tia­tive of UFTAA. At the pre­vi­ous world congress of UFTAA held in Is­tan­bul, we did con­firm that UFTAA apart from travel mat­ters will em­bark on tourism, MICE and ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tives in a big way and try to cre­ate more op­por­tu­ni­ties in this area. In terms of tourism, a big ini­tia­tive has been taken by the UFTAA Board of Di­rec­tors by es­tab­lish­ing the UFTAA Global Tourism Of­fice in Is­tan­bul, which will be manned pro­fes­sion­ally, con­nect­ing travel pro­fes­sion­als all over the world, en­cour­ag­ing B2B ac­tiv­i­ties and busi­ness ex­change be­tween UFTAA as­so­ci­a­tions and UFTAA af­fil­i­ates.”

“We are con­fi­dent that this UFTAA tourism of­fice will also come up with cer­tain sys­tems where we could gift our mem­bers cer­tain cred­i­bil­ity and sta­tus so that when some­one sells tourism on­line, there is a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from UFTAA which sup­ports such agen­cies. How­ever, this is a long-term goal. We first need to get mem­bers on board, keep the mem­ber­ship ac­tive and hope that UFTAA gets new mem­bers from dif­fer­ent coun­tries around the world,” he added. The new Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral of UNWTO has been in­vited to in­au­gu­rate the of­fice in Au­gust. He fur­ther in­formed that due to the Qatar cri­sis, the work on the UFTAA Global head­quar­ters in Doha has been kept on the back burner and hope­fully there will be a head­way on the same very soon.

Boast­ing the strength of UFTAA, Ku­mar said that the as­so­ci­a­tion had four seats in the re­cent meet­ing of IATA’s Pas­sen­ger Agency Pro­gramme Global Joint Coun­cil, which he be­lieves is an “im­por­tant strength of UFTAA”. Ku­mar adds that UFTAA’s big­gest strength is its IATA con­nect.

Wel­com­ing UFTAA mem­bers to Salerno, Roberto De Luca, Asses­sore al Bi­lan­cio e Sviluppo (Coun­cil­lor for bud­get and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment), Salerno, said, “Your pres­ence here is very en­cour­ag­ing yet a great chal­lenge for us. We need to learn a lot from you. We spent 250 mil­lion in re­gen­er­a­tion to lever­age this el­e­ment in tourism and en­gage renowned ar­chi­tects to give our city an iden­tity. We have our cul­ture, our me­dieval city and Ro­man ar­chi­tec­ture to lever­age from. I do think our ar­chi­tec­tural won­ders like the Castello di Arechi, Sea Sta­tion, Med­i­cal School of Salerno (first med­i­cal school of Europe) are mar­vels to at­tract tourists. We are try­ing to lever­age more MICE and Bleisure be­cause we have the po­ten­tial, also we are a good hub be­tween Amalfi Coast, Ci­lento Coast and the Greek tem­ples.

Su­nil Ku­mar R. Pres­i­dent UFTAA

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