Alphabet Soup On Menu As ACTA Hosts Agent Associations

Nina Slawek

WTAAA Board Representatives

CAA's Dianne Jackson & TDSB's Rita Polegri

Air Canada Sponsor Duncan Bureau

It was a grand gathering of acronyms at YYZ's T3 Sheraton as ACTA welcomed and applauded its brothers in arms from across the globe.

The group featured travel associations from far and wide: WTAAA, CITC, DOT, AFTA, ACTA, ECTAA, TAANZ, ASATA, AST -- the list goes on – as retail associations representing 70% of the world's BSP gathered for a semi-annual Board Meeting.

For an outsider, an Enigma decoder would have been useful.

The associations represent agents from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa and India, and the gathering revealed a true sense of a mutual commitment in the fight to keep travel agents around the globe well-employed and well-remunerated.

The Air Canada sponsored cocktail was well attended but a few confused eyebrows were raised when Jason Westbury, the Chair of World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) called for the removal of the words 'fuel surcharge' from the industry's vocabulary.

Westbury told the audience that in light of lower fuel prices, the issue is resonating around the world. He said the only things which comprise a fare are 1) a seat 2) a seat belt and 3) fuel.

When asked to comment, Air Canada's V.P. Global Sales, Duncan Bureau told Open Jaw that AC “monitors the price of fuel and charges accordingly. There may adjustments at some point, but for now there are no changes."

(will not be published)