Message from the Sofia congress chairman


Richard Lohento, chairman of the upcoming congress of the United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA), sent a message to travel agents about the upcoming important event being held in Bulgaria:

“In a few months we will be celebrating one of the most important meetings of our federation.

“Indeed, UFTAA [United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations] will hold its 44th Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria, from September 25 to 29, 2010, with “Tourism and Culture… yes, we care!” as its theme. This event will take place in a country world-renowned for its cultural heritage and the numerous historical monuments and sites.

“The global financial crisis, more stringent IATA rules, and the ever-increasing requirements of the tourism and travel industry have brought about profound changes in travel agents’ attitudes. The industry, to ensure an income to the travel agent, has taken on a new dimension that, looking beyond air matters, focuses on the overall product, the contents of which ranges from the simple to the sophisticated.

“This is why the congress will lay stress on “tourism and culture,” the major trump cards of emerging tourist destinations and significant attractions for outbound countries. The congress will not, however, sidestep air matters. Many solutions have been brought to bear on your concerns, in different regions of the world. The board of directors [is] deeply concerned by this reality and has asked prominent personalities to talk to you about these major issues for our industry.

“Together, let us build a stronger UFTAA. Today, the federation is painfully facing the perverse effects of the international financial crisis, but it is destined to fulfill its role in the concert of nations. By working TOGETHER, we can achieve great things.

“We have to work TOGETHER on ways and means to emerge from this crisis strengthened. Suggestions will be put to you during the congress, but it is YOUR contribution that will enable us to go forward.

“Let us prepare for this 44th congress of our federation with the primary ambition to recreate the conditions for a renewed spirit, for an UFTAA fully at the service of its members and affiliates.”