Christine Fournier, General Secretary of the World Association of Travel Agencies, said they are proud to become a member of the International Council of Tourism Partners.
Founded in 1949 in Switzerland, WATA is a nonprofit organization registered in Switzerland. WATA has positioned itself as a truly respected name in the travel industry and is the leading association grouping of Inbound Travel Agencies in the leisure (tourism) segment of the industry.
WATA is a worldwide organization of selected inbound travel agencies dedicated to the enhancement of the professionalism and profitability of member agents through mutual cooperation and global networking. Its members are committed to the highest standards of business ethics and quality of service to clients.
Customers feel more confident in choosing our services as they recognize in the WATA logo a symbol of trust and professionalism for the satisfaction of their clients.
WATA is open to inbound travel agencies offering local services, preferably privately-owned companies, middle size, adhering to the highest professional ethics and enjoying a prominent position in their local community. Priority is given to well-established companies in their destination ensuring that its members will be the best local travel experts, having a complete knowledge of the place, the infrastructure, and excellent relations with local suppliers.
WATA membership is given on an exclusivity basis, per country or region. Presently, WATA has 45 exclusive members in 30 countries and has opened a category of preferred suppliers in additional countries, with concrete plans to extend the network on both membership levels extensively.
Through membership in ICTP, WATA intends to position itself as a responsible association, conscious of the impact of tourism on the environment.
One of the criteria for WATA is to accept a new local inbound agent as a member is for this agent to certify that he is working in a way to minimize his environmental footprint in his destination and contributes into sustainable tourism initiatives locally.
The WATA members are the first ones who should be active in responsible tourism and caring about their own community, the preservation of their own environment and the enhancement of their culture.
WATA has equally offered complimentary membership to ICTP. Relations between WATA and ICTP were initiated through Mr. Burkhard Herbote, advisor of WATA for relations with international trade organizations, as well as for the selective extension of the worldwide network.
“We could not be more pleased to have WATA join our alliance,” said ICTP Chairman Juergen T. Steinmetz, “The high level they hold themselves to in regards to sustainability, as well as their membership criteria, makes them an ideal partner association.”
For more information about WATA, visit www.wata.net .
The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) is a grassroots travel and tourism coalition of global destinations committed to quality service and green growth. The ICTP logo represents the strength in collaboration (the block) of many small communities (the lines) committed to sustainable oceans (blue) and land (green). ICTP engages communities and their stakeholders to share quality and green opportunities including tools and resources, access to funding, education, and marketing support. ICTP advocates sustainable aviation growth, streamlined travel formalities, and fair coherent taxation. ICTP supports the UN Millennium Development Goals, the UN World Tourism Organization's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, and a range of programs that underpin them. The ICTP alliance is represented in Haleiwa, Hawaii, USA; Brussels, Belgium; Bali, Indonesia; and Victoria, Seychelles.
ICTP has members in Anguilla; Aruba; Bangladesh; Belgium, Belize; Brazil; Canada; Caribbean; China; Croatia; The Gambia; Germany; Ghana; Greece; Grenada; India; Indonesia; Iran; Korea (South); La Reunion (French Indian Ocean); Malaysia; Malawi; Mauritius; Mexico; Morocco; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Northern Mariana Islands (USA Pacific Island Territory); Sultanate of Oman; Pakistan; Palestine; Philippines; Rwanda; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Tajikistan; Tanzania; Trinidad&Tobago; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe; and from the US: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Missouri, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.
Partner associations include: African Bureau of Conventions; African Chamber of Commerce Dallas/Fort Worth; Africa Travel Association; Boutique&Lifestyle Lodging Association; Caribbean Tourism Organization; Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses; Cultural and Environment Conservation Society; DC-Cam (Cambodia); Euro Congres; Hawaii Tourism Association; International Delphic Council (IDC); International Foundation for Aviation and Development, Montreal, Canada; International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT); International Organization of Electronic Tourism Industry (IOETI), Italy; Positive Impact Events, Manchester, UK; RETOSA: Angola - Botswana - DR Congo - Lesotho - Madagascar - Malawi - Mauritius - Mozambique - Namibia - South Africa - Swaziland - Tanzania - Zambia- Zimbabwe; Routes, SKAL International; Society for Accessible Travel&Hospitality (SATH); Sustainable Travel International (STI); The Region Initiative, Pakistan; The Travel Partnership Corporation; vzw Reis-en Opleidingscentrum, Gent, Belgium; WATA World Association of Travel Agencies, Switzerland; as well as university and educational institute partners.
For more information, go to: www.tourismpartners.org.