The National Congress of Travel and Tourism Agencies of ANATO opens their doors
In its 25th edition, about 400 businessmen attended the event to learn about the new dynamics and trends in the sector
The start of the event took place at the Expofuturo de Pereira Convention Center with an opening ceremony attended by Paula Cortés Calle, executive president of ANATO, who was accompanied by Ricardo Galindo Bueno, vice minister of tourism; Israel Alberto Londoño Londoño, governor in charge of Risaralda; Carlos Maya, mayor of Pereira; Alonso Monsalve Gómez, president of the Board of Directors of ANATO; Diego Vásquez, vice president of ANATO's board of directors; and Jackeline Rendón, president of ANATO Coffee Axis Chapter.
During her speech, the President of the Association took advantage of the space to request six additional grants from the National Government that would allow Travel Agencies and the tourism sector in general to cope with the situation.
“We have been privileged in some respects if we compare ourselves with other countries in the area, Colombia opened its borders faster than other destinations, and in September 2020 the first national air flights began, there is one year of Government left, and we want to thank the relief received, but also take the opportunity to request extra support taking into account the needs that the sector still has and that will be crucial to accelerate its recovery ”, explained the union leader.
The first request was related to a solution, to obtain accounts in foreign currency, since the Wholesale Agencies mainly, which depend on the emitting product, have seen a decrease in productivity. “We hope that, as a government goal, in the remainder of the year, we can analyze and make the financial entities that offer the service understand the importance that this entails for the dynamics of travel.
The second referred to ANATO's concern regarding complaints to the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce and the Superintendency of Transportation, as it is feared that they will end in unfair sanctions against Travel Agencies, for cases such as those that happened with the Interjet airline or other suppliers of the industry, so it is essential to delimit the responsibility of the companies, or establish measures that allow compliance before the authorities such as the SIC for the call in guarantee, and in this way, demand the compensation of the damage from the third party .
A third request was related to the implementation of a comprehensive strategy that substantially improves access to technologies by the sector, which would give an important boost to the travel industry, paying ground in the future, so that it generates more information for travelers , and that Travel Agencies can integrate more tourism content, and thus the travel offer is more robust.
A fourth point made reference to access to credit, since 48% of the companies that requested it were denied, as they were classified as a risk factor and despite the exclusive quotas for tourism, Travel Agencies continue to state that they continue to have the same difficulty. “We must carry out direct credit lines for tourism companies, but with rules in accordance with the reality of the economic impact of our sector, that there is a refinancing of credits with dead periods of one year, lower rates and minimum terms of 5 years for amortization of principal and interest.
The fifth point had to do with a strategic commitment in favor of the recovery of air connectivity, to facilitate the conditions of domestic tourism and at affordable prices for Colombians, in addition to preparing the regions with tourism potential for the diversification of the offer.
The last requirement is related to the recovery of business confidence, a determining aspect for the economic recovery of the industry, and which must occur through the control of informality. “We must strive for competitive spaces where the rules of the game are for all actors. If one of the objectives has been consumer protection, with all the more reason they must establish incentives for the protection of tourism companies, which are generated by the job.
At the end of the first academic day, attendees will go on a night safari in the Ukumarí Biopark, a place of 82 species, more than 350 animals in bioregions, about 150 species of mammals, reptiles and birds, identified in natural habitats.