AFTA rallies agents to champion ATAS with consumers

Four in five overseas travellers look for ATAS approval

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Research commissioned by the Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) and conducted by FiftyFive5, a global research agency, has revealed that awareness of ATAS (AFTA Travel Accreditation Scheme) drives usage, influencing where a consumer books their travel.

“In the research, consumers clearly told us that they want to know when a business is accredited,” AFTA Chief Executive Jayson Westbury said.

“60% of all respondents said that ATAS is relevant to their travel plans and more than half of all travellers worry when a business fails to articulate their accredited status. This is in line with the calls AFTA takes on a daily basis where consumers are validating if a business is accredited or not,” Westbury added.

The research also revealed 82% of overseas travellers will actively look to book with an ATAS accredited travel agent.

Westbury said one-third of overseas travellers will speak to a travel agent “but for various reasons not book through that agent. The research says travel agents are missing out on business by not telling the consumer they are accredited.”

According to the research just 4% of AFTA’s membership base are actively discussing ATAS with their clients.

“4% of members discussing ATAS is not enough, we need everyone working together.” AFTA Chief Executive, Jayson Westbury

“AFTA reinvests every available dollar into promoting the value of travel agents and educating the consumer about ATAS. We are doing our bit and I’d like to encourage our extensive network of accredited members to join us in the crusade. Think how wide and deep and powerful our message would be if all 3,000 travel agent locations right across Australia shared the ‘ATAS’ message,” Westbury said.

“As a result of the research findings, throughout August AFTA will be undertaking an industry-wide education campaign to help ATAS agents realise the full potential of the value of being accredited and look to increase the awareness among travel consultants who need to talk about the scheme with their clients more often,” he added.

AFTA has produced a short video which summarises the research results and explains why ATAS-accredited travel agents are missing out on potential business by not telling consumers that they’re ATAS-accredited.

Agents can learn more about boosting the profile of ATAS at www.afta.com.au/awareness.

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