ACTA Chair Mary Jane Hiebert Elected To WTAAA Board

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Mary Jane Hiebert

The World Travel Agents Associations Alliance (WTAAA) held its annual General Assembly and bi-annual Board meeting in Bilbao earlier this month during which ACTA Canada Chairman Mary Jane Hiebert was elected to the Board for a 2 year term. ASTA U.S.A. V.P. of Industry Affairs Mark Meader was also elected to the board.

The WTAAA Executive Committee of AFTA`s Jayson Westbury; ASATA`s Otto de Vries and TAANZ`s Peter Barlow were all re-elected for additional 1 year terms.

The WTAAA board considers important issues facing the travel agency community across the globe and confirmed the recent decision of the IATA Passenger Conference to defer the implementation of new arrangements for websales settlement via the billing settlement plan (BSP). WTAAA had made significant representation concerning the proposals put forward for changes to these arrangements and the global ramifications. They will work with IATA to come to an agreement for an acceptable solution.

The WTAAA board also reviewed the IATA new generation settlement and accreditation plans and will continue to work with IATA to develop appropriate solutions for the travel agents that continue to have accreditation with IATA.

Also on the agenda was WTAAA`s commitment to work with governments across the globe to tackle the challenge of border control requirements and visa regimes that restrict travel. The meeting was held prior to the attacks in Paris.

"Board members of the WTAAA represent travel agents across much of the globe and it is clear that there are many issues of commonality which need to be addressed" said Jay Westbury, WTAAA Chair. "Together with the wider travel and tourism industry across the world, we are committed to interacting with governments and regulatory bodies to stimulate positive change. With modern advances in bio metrics and intelligence sharing, surely governments can remove themselves from issuing visas and requiring travellers to jump unnecessary hurdles to travel freely as tourists and enhance the visitor economy across the globe" Westbury said.

The WTAAA says it will continue to advocate for change in this area and on other matters that will make travel easier for everyone without any threat to  sovereign national security.

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