ANDREW Bowman has been elected the World Travel Agents Associations Alliance’s (WTAAA) Chair, having served as a Vice-Chair since 2020.
Having been on the WTAAA board of directors since 2016, New Zealand-based Bowman is highly visible with in his country’s travel community, having also served as a director of NZ Travel Brokers.
In his 40 years in the travel industry, Bowman has also formerly served as the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand’s President.
Bowman will be joined by Paula Cortes Calle from Colombia and Wendy Paradis from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), who are Vice Chairs.
Eric Dresin from Belgium (representing Europe) is Board Secretary, while Denmark’s Lars Thykier is Treasurer.
Committee Chairs include Mark Meader (United States) as Chair of the Land & Sea Advocacy Committee, and South Africa’s Otto de Vries as Chair of the Air Advocacy Committee.
WTAAA represents member travel associations through a regional and direc5t presence in almost 70 countries, including the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) locally.
The Alliance acts as the “global voice of the travel agency community,” advocating on its members’ behalf, while also “facilitating the exchange of ideas and information for the betterment of the community worldwide”.
WTAAA interacts with travel supplier partners representing all aspects of travel advisor distribution including airlines, hoteliers, cruise lines, GDS, and other technology providers, to government entities – lobbying key issues on behalf of its members.
Australia has also had a long involvement with WTAAA, with the Alliance in the past Chaired by former AFTA Chief Executive Officers Jayson Westbury and Mike Hatton, the latter of whom was one of its founders.