HAVING just returned from the first half year World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) Board meeting in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, which connected to the 117th semi-annual European Travel Agents and Tour Operators Association (ECTAA) congress, it is clear that the two issues being discussed at a global level in a negative way are the concepts of over-tourism and the IATA NewGenISS roll-out.
Firstly, the concept of over-tourism. This is somewhat of a new concept that has found its way into the conversation going on within the global travel and tourism industry. Basically, the concept carries the theme that destinations, cities and in some case countries have more tourists than they want and or can handle and as such are looking at ways to reduce the number of tourists - or in the case of Boracay in the Philippines, actually closed the place down while they look for solutions.
Australia is now the 8th largest outbound market by head count, not per capita, with over 10 million outbound trips each year, so I found myself defending our industry and Australians as a force for good and
as supporters of economies, not takers and wreckers which amounts to over-tourism.
The second hot topic was the roll-out of the IATA NewGenISS in markets in all parts of the world including Canada in which travel agents have faced disastrous circumstances as the components including credit limits on agencies kick in. It would seem that the global agency movement rightly predicted the challenges and problems that NewGenISS has brought with it. Given the amendments already being required to be passed by the IATA machine to address these challenges so early, it is no wonder that in the Australian context AFTA, on behalf of all IATA agents, is calling out the problems and looking to delay the
commencement until these implementation bugs are dealt with and there is a proper approach to implementing a change of this magnitude into the Australian BSP.
I head to Madrid next week in- which the IATA global meeting will have detailed reports provided to it and hopefully there is better news and outcomes being addressed rather than more worry and concern which is
clearly the case now as IATA rolls out NewGenISS.
On a slightly more positive note, it is pleasing to report that most countries around the globe are enjoying positive outbound activity and continue to work collaboratively for the good of travellers and travel