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AFTA Update

Travel Daily Exclusive - May 22 2018

Over the past weekend I had the great pleasure of attending the Express Travel Group’s Select Travel Group conference in Macao. The conference was held at the newly minted MGM Cotai Hotel and Casino and as brand-new hotels go, this one is terrific. The agenda for the conference talked to how travel agencies can re-think their approach to some of the more traditional ways and I was pleased to be able to present some of the recent research that AFTA has undertaken with consumers. A very big congratulations to the
ETG team for delivering another fantastic conference in a city and venue that really never sleeps.

Macao is on fire, with the level of construction underway for more and more hotels and casinos and the level of development in infrastructure including the new ferry terminal and enhancements to the airport.
Macao is preparing for the future onslaught of tourists from China that from what I could see are coming in droves. Australians also seem to like the spoils of Macao and I suspect we will see more and more Aussies
heading to Macao over the coming years as it presents itself as a world class man-made destination.

As to research, one of the really interesting findings was the fact that after the consumers had been informed about what ATAS was and what it meant for the travel agency, 82% of those surveyed indicated
that they would look for or seek out an ATAS travel agent when they looked to book a trip next time. What was also very interesting was that those ATAS agents who currently hold accreditation need to be talking
about it more and as such AFTA will be launching in the coming weeks a broad-based industry education campaign to help agency owners and consultants understand how ATAS can help and the power that it brings to the agency. AFTA continues to embrace the consumer media with a deep-dive digital campaign and this continues to deliver large numbers of searches on the ATAS website as consumers look to confirm or find ATAS travel agents.

On a final note, I can’t not mention the royal wedding. It’s always such a spectacle and as I am travelling overseas currently, CNN, BBC and the Australian Network have an ongoing coverage going over every little
detail. Monarchist or Republican, it’s hard not to enjoy a Royal Wedding. I am sure Harry and Meghan are headed on a spectacular honeymoon and no doubt we will be watching more and more of this over the
coming weeks and months