ARTA Canada Joins Other Organizations to Launch
Global Alliance of Travel Agent Associations 

Travel Technology, Distribution, Training
and Improving Supplier Relationships Set GATAA's Mandate

Toronto, 11 April 2011: Canada's Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA Canada) announced today that it has joined forces with its U.S. counterpart, ARTA, and several other travel agent associations and retail travel groups in the creation of a new, worldwide organization of travel agent associations to be known as the Global Alliance of Travel Agent Associations (GATAA).

GATAA simultaneously launched its new web site today:

The founding members include the Association of Retail Travel Agents-Canada (ARTA Canada), the Association of Retail Travel Agents-USA (ARTA), ASTRA Travel SAE (Egypt), the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), and the Yemen Union for Tourism (YUT).

The associations felt a new, streamlined, and more nimble organization was necessary to pursue the many important challenges and opportunities which the worldwide travel agency community faces. Among these main issues are matters relating to remuneration, distribution, education and training, and improved travel supplier relationships.

Key to differentiating GATAA from other travel agent umbrella associations is GATAA's primary focus on leveraging travel technology, distribution enhancements, and better selling tools which provide increased benefits to travel agents and travel suppliers alike.

Another important and unique feature of GATAA is that members and affiliates must be retail travel agent organizations which either serve other travel agents or the travelling public. Travel suppliers are very welcomed allied partners, but they are not members.

Strengthening the formation of GATAA, the Federation of ASEAN Travel Agents (FATA) board of directors, at its meeting in Bangkok on 24 March 2011, unanimously supported the creation of GATAA. FATA represents 10 travel agency associations in South East Asia.

GATAA will hold its first organizational meeting in Cairo, Egypt on 19-20 July 2011.

"We decided to hold this first GATAA meeting in Cairo in recognition and in honour of the Revolution of 25 January 2011 and to show our support for our Egyptian agency colleagues, our partners in the Egyptian travel supplier community, and our friends at Star Alliance-member EGYPTAIR. Our presence in Cairo will underscore our collective support for strengthening Egyptian tourism", said ARTA Canada President and ARTA Managing Director Bruce Bishins, CTC.

GATAA will be actively seeking additional travel agency organizations to meet along with the founding associations in Cairo and to join the Alliance. For more information about GATAA, including online registration for the organizational meeting in Cairo, please visit

About ARTA Canada 

ARTA Canada is the largest non-profit federally incorporated professional association of travel retailers in Canada, the members of which consist exclusively of travel agencies and travel agents. In addition to advocating fair and equitable treatment of travel consumers, ARTA Canada represents the commercial and strategic interests of its member travel agencies and travel agents in a variety of national and provincial domains including regulatory and legislative matters, automation, technology, sales and marketing, and distribution.

ARTA Canada is the strategic partner in Canada of the U.S.-based Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA). For complete details about ARTA Canada's new $99 membership campaign or to join ARTA Canada, including secure payment on our web site, please visit

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