The Dubai Travel & Tour Agents Group (DTTAG) has stepped up its efforts to boost its membership by appointing a ‘DTTAG manager'.
The group's committee - which includes representatives from Dnata, Airlink, Mohebi Aviation, Al Arabi, Al Rais, Orient Travel, MMI, ANTA, Kanoo Travel, Al Naboodah and Team Travel - has selected travel trade stalwart and Tourism Ireland's current GCC representative, Leo Fewtrell, to encourage agents to sign up.
"Leo, who is well known by many agents, is going to be recruiting [agents] and managing DTTAG's office and finances," explained DTTAG president, Iain Andrew, also the senior vice president of Dnata Agencies.
"He will be helping rally support and visiting travel agents (in Dubai) to understand their requirements and what they want from DTTAG."
The group, which is headquartered at Al Rais Travel in Bur Dubai, currently boasts more than 50 members, which Andrew said accounted for at least 70% of Dubai's travel agency market.
The target is to reach the 100-member mark, to include some of the smaller agencies, which if anything are impacted the most by some of the measures being enforced by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).
These include a by-law - to be enforced by July 31 next year - that will tighten up licensing regulations to the point that agents and operators will be charged AED 200,000 (US $54,000) for every travel-related activity that they operate.
DTTAG's aim is to prepare and advise the trade ahead of this by-law and to assist with other travel trade issues ranging from insurance policies and BSP updates, to agency fee standardisation.
Meanwhile, travel industry partners have shown their support for DTTAG by sponsoring the organisation.
Travel technology solutions provider, EmQuest, part of the Emirates Group and the distributor of the Galileo GDS system in the region, has handed over "a substantial amount" of cash to help fund DTTAG and initiatives such as subsidised travel agent training courses.
Sponsorship negotiations are also underway with car rental and insurance companies, Andrew revealed.
Details of the next DTTAG meeting are yet to be announced, but any member of the travel trade interested in becoming a group member should call +971 (0)4 334 6166 or e-mail
More information on DTTAG and the licensing by-law will be published in the September edition of
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