Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) recently held its 12th conference at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi from September 25 to 28.
Themed “Innovate-Transform-Disrupt: Redefining the Offline Travel World”, the event highlighted important issues faced by small and medium brick-and-mortar travel agents.
“Businesses that are able to connect, engage and drive belief in their products will be richly rewarded. The fact that even after the OTAs have grown their business, the majority of the airline ticketing is being done by offline travel agents in India. It shows that we are still relevant but need to innovate to survive in today’s world,” said Praveen Chugh, president, TAFI.
The event saw participation from more than 500 Indian and international delegates.
Senior officials from the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT), including undersecretary Saif Saeed Ghobash, were also in attendance.
Among the speakers at the event were Otto De Vries, CEO, Association of Southern African Travel Agents; Hamzah Rahmat, executive director, Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations; and Jayson Westbury, CEO, The Australian Federation of Travel Agents.
In the business session “East Meets West”, the heads of international travel agents associations touched on the trends and challenges they are seeing in their respective markets.
The session also saw panelists sharing their views on the New Generation of IATA Settlement Systems (NewGen ISS) aimed to deliver faster, safer and more cost-effective and relevant financial settlement services and solutions to airlines and travel agents.
The conference was followed by sightseeing tours around Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions where the delegates had a chance to experience Abu Dhabi’s tourism offerings.