The International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) announced the World Association of Travel Agencies (WATA) from Switerland has joined the alliance as a partner association. Christine Fournier, General Secretary of the World Association of Travel Agencies, said they are proud to become a member of the International Council of Tourism Partners.
Founded in 1949 in Switzerland, WATA is a nonprofit organisation registered in Switzerland. WATA has positioned itself as a truly respected name in the travel industry and is the leading association grouping of Inbound Travel Agencies in the leisure (tourism) segment of the industry.
WATA is a worldwide organisation of selected inbound travel agencies dedicated to the enhancement of the professionalism and profitability of member agents through mutual cooperation and global networking. Its members are committed to the highest standards of business ethics and quality of service to clients.
Customers feel more confident in choosing our services as they recognise in the WATA logo a symbol of trust and professionalism for the satisfaction of their clients.
WATA is open to inbound travel agencies offering local services, preferably privately-owned companies, middle size, adhering to the highest professional ethics and enjoying a prominent position in their local community. Priority is given to well-established companies in their destination ensuring that its members will be the best local travel experts, having a complete knowledge of the place, the infrastructure, and excellent relations with local suppliers.
WATA membership is given on an exclusivity basis, per country or region. Presently, WATA has 45 exclusive members in 30 countries and has opened a category of preferred suppliers in additional countries, with concrete plans to extend the network on both membership levels extensively.
Through membership in ICTP, WATA intends to position itself as a responsible association, conscious of the impact of tourism on the environment.
One of the criteria for WATA is to accept a new local inbound agent as a member is for this agent to certify that he is working in a way to minimise his environmental footprint in his destination and contributes into sustainable tourism initiatives locally.
The WATA members are the first ones who should be active in responsible tourism and caring about their own community, the preservation of their own environment and the enhancement of their culture.
WATA has equally offered complimentary membership to ICTP. Relations between WATA and ICTP were initiated through Mr. Burkhard Herbote, advisor of WATA for relations with international trade organisations, as well as for the selective extension of the worldwide network.
“We could not be more pleased to have WATA join our alliance,” said ICTP Chairman Juergen T. Steinmetz, “The high level they hold themselves to in regards to sustainability, as well as their membership criteria, makes them an ideal partner association.”