ASEANTA plays problem-solver to industry concerns

ASEANTA working on addressing issue of buyers 'not producing'

A stronger system to qualify ATF buyers and a membership expansion are among some proposed initiatives that have emerged from the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) Board Meeting on Tuesday.

The initiatives aim to resolve persistent industry concerns.

ASEANTA working on addressing issue of buyers ‘not producing’

Board members deliberated the possibility of establishing a database of quality international buyers to raise the standards of attendees at ATF’s B2B meetings component, TRAVEX.

ASEANTA president Cheah Swee Hee said: “We have been studying the past few ATFs and we see some hosted buyers who are not really producing. ASEANTA must (find a solution for this).”

Cheah revealed that the proposal on the database was presented to NTO representatives on Tuesday.

He said the database could contain buyers recommended by various industry stakeholders and screened by ASEANTA board members.

“If we want the database to be more detailed, we could employ artificial intelligence and use technology to match (buyer profile with destination product offerings).”

Meanwhile, a committee with an IT expert has been formed and it has started to look into antitrust and personal data protection laws that will impact the creation and management of this database. This effort will also give confidence to sources when they collect data, opined Cheah.

A second major initiative considered by the board is the inclusion of airports and tour companies in ASEANTA membership.

“Our ASEAN airline members have been asking for the inclusion of airports so that there is better synergy, as the airports also play major roles in creating seamless travel for travellers,” he explained.

Cheah added that having travel companies in the membership would facilitate the communication and execution of programmes developed by ASEANTA.

“As ASEANTA members, these travel companies will get first-hand information (on what we hope to achieve and can take action accordingly),” he said.

The ASEANTA board will regroup in April for its annual general meeting, and Cheah hopes that the constitution will be amended by then to incorporate the new membership guidelines and to also bring to market the other proposed initiatives.

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