Majority of ACTA Members Disagree with ACTA National
on Future of Direct Connect

Survey Results Fully Support ARTA Canada's Position
on Direct Connect Strategy

Toronto, 07 July 2011: Canada's Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA Canada) pointed today to further proof that Direct Connect airline strategy is inevitable as such a reality is a view shared by the clear majority of ACTA member travel agencies - despite what ACTA National says as, yet again, it fails to speak for the retail travel agency community in Canada.

A wide-ranging, 35 question survey conducted by Ontario’s Georgian College, a leader in Tourism and Hospitality education, for Distinctive Travel Planner Services (DTPS) of Vancouver, the education company founded by Jacqueline Jamieson, Past Chair of ACTA, was distributed to ACTA member agencies and collected 401 responses.

In a statement by DTPS: "the full survey contains a number of important findings including the fact that most agency heads and consultants see direct booking with suppliers taking precedence over booking via global distribution systems over the coming decade".

The statement went on to elaborate: "Survey respondents do see a major change in the technology they use with most predicting direct and online booking engines will dominate travel planning by the end of the decade. Global Distribution Systems won’t disappear but about two thirds of respondents believe they will be making bookings predominantly directly with suppliers within the coming decade."

ARTA Canada has been the only agency association, along with ARTA U.S., which has advocated the benefits and need for alternative distribution platforms, including Direct Connect, and is an allied member of the Open AXIS Group, the industry association at the forefront of this initiative.

"How many more times can ACTA pretend to speak for travel agents and get proven wrong by doing so? Whether it's unfounded insurance schemes, objectionable TICO increases, or unflinching support for GDSs based on ACTA's undeniable income from and partnership with the very same GDSs unwilling to change with and reduce costs for the industry, ACTA is continually making policy statements which are ultimately rejected by its membership. Could it be any clearer that ACTA is only concerned about preserving its financial stream and industry standing with suppliers and not that of the agency membership? How much more can ACTA hurt the retail trade?", stated ARTA Canada President Bruce Bishins, CTC.

More information on the survey is available from jjamieson@distinctivetravel.ca.

ARTA Canada continues to support Direct Connect and Distribution 2.0 of the Open AXIS Group. More details can be found at www.artacanada.ca/D2.0

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 www.artacanada.ca/join.


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                                               www.artacanada.ca