Colin Profile BW

Travel agents are the key to getting the travel industry back on track: LATA chairman

As the travel industry goes through one of the most challenging times, the LATA Expo moved online this year.

The week-long conference that promotes travel and tourism in Latin America heard from tourism ministers, tour operators and travel experts. LATA chairman Colin Stewart said early on, that airport testing was the solution to restarting air travel but he also revealed the importance of the travel agent's role right now.

Speaking exclusively to Natalie Chalk he said that "travel agents are the key that will unlock the industry".

What role does the travel agent play in the recovery process? 

“Trust is the new currency. People have been hurt and burnt and the impact of Covid has meant that people’s confidence has been damaged and their ability to travel freely. They will be looking for reassurances from experts. Travel agents provide that expertise. Their influence and their relationship with airlines and tour operators puts them in a position to rebuild confidence in travel and help the consumer. Some of the biggest concerns are: is it safe to travel and am I going to be safe? People will flock to agents for their expertise.”

What more could the industry be doing?

“We need to be one voice. It’s an industry issue. If we look at the campaigns out there to save travel they are all good. They are all trying to instil change. If I’m a decision maker in government and I have 12 different messages then that’s not a unified industry and where do we start? What is the key driver to restarting? For me it’s testing pre-and-post-testing-departure. Saving jobs is important and reducing costs. There is work to be done. But I think it’s an opportunity and I don’t think it is happening now to bring it all together.”

What’s been great about LATA Expo this year after having to go online?

“It’s getting people back to thinking about travel. We have had 2,500 scheduled meetings, engagement is high and the feedback has been positive. It’s been great.”

More News... to launch th… to launch the sale of air tickets, an online hotel booking service for travel professionals is launching the sale of air tickets on its platform.

Celebrity Cruise unveils …

Celebrity Cruise unveils its newest addition: Celebrity Beyond

Celebrity Cruises unveiled third ship in the company’s 'new luxury' Edge Series - Celebrity Beyond. 

Classic Collection Holida…

Classic Collection Holidays affirms trade support with three appointments

The new positions include trade support manager and regional sale managers to assist trade partners. 

Air Malta launches summer…

Air Malta launches summer 2021 flight schedule

The programme includes 20 destinations, over 3,000 flights, and 580,000 seats - all on sale now. 

Cora Cora Maldives sets O…

Cora Cora Maldives sets October opening date

Cora Cora Maldives, a five-star resort inspired by Maldivian culture, has set an opening date of October 1, 2021.

MSC Cruises announces rol…

MSC Cruises announces roll-out of fleet-wide COVID-19 vaccination programme

MSC Cruises has announced the roll-out of a fleet-wide COVID-19 vaccination programme for all its crew members. 

Regent Seven Seas to retu…

Regent Seven Seas to return to cruising with the Seven Sea Splendor

Regent Seven Seas has announced its return to sailing, announcing that Seven Seas Splendor will be cruising from the UK, beginning September 11, 2021.

Covid Testing Network lau…

Covid Testing Network launches travel testing comparison site

It's the UK's first comparison site to let travellers compare the available pre-travel Covid-19 testing options. 

Visit Maldives and Minist…

Visit Maldives and Ministry of Tourism launch 'I'm Vaccinated' campaign

The campaign promotes the Maldives as one of the safest destinations for travellers and encourages clients to get vaccinated. 

Pullman opens Khao Lak Re…

Pullman opens Khao Lak Resort, Thailand

Pullman's eighth Thai property has opened on Bang Muang Beach, Phang Nga. 

The Londoner reveals new …

The Londoner reveals new launch date

The Leicester Square property was originally scheduled to open this month, but will now open for guests this September. 

Marriott International ex…

Marriott International expands luxury portfolio with St. Regis, Downtown Dubai

The brand's fourth property in the UAE is expected to open later this year. 

Prev Next

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?