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Colombian becomes president of the Universal Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations

On 25 January, 2002, during the UFTAA<.> (Universal Federation of Travel Agents' Associations) Congress held in…

On 25 January, 2002, during the UFTAA<.> (Universal Federation of Travel Agents' Associations) Congress held in Tunis, Tunisia, Dr. Oscar Rueda Garcia was elected Chairman of the Federation – an organisation which gathers the Associations of 90 countries, representing 40,000 travel agencies world-wide, and having its head office in Monaco.



This 47 years old Colombian lawyer has already a great experience in the area of tourism, as he has been holding for more than 15 years the position of president of the National Association of Travel Agencies of Colombia (ANATO). He has been successively member of Executive Committee of UFTAA for two years (1997/98), then Vice-President, Finance (1999) and Vice-President of the Federation in 2000 and 2001.



Since UFTAA was created 36 years ago, this is the second time a Latin-American occupies the chair of the Federation. In 1978, this position was held by Eduardo Arrarte from Peru.



Oscar Rueda takes over from Mike Hannah, from Canada, who has held the position of President during the two previous years. The other members of the Board of Directors are Vice-Chairman Udaya Nanayakkara from Sri Lanka, and Vice-Chairman, Finance Mario Bevacqua, from Italy, together with representatives of the associations of Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Kenya, Malta and Tunisia.



Oscar Rueda becomes Chairman of UFTAA at a period of unrest for the industry, marked by commission cuts and the problems met by the tourist industry, which increased after the 11 September events. Hence his main challenge will consist in negotiating a new agreement between the International Air Transport Association, IATA, and the travel agencies – a task UFTAA has been working on since last year – as well as in overcoming the obstacles and issues met by the incoming tourism world-wide.



The implementation of an in-depth reform of the Federation will be one of the other tasks the new chairman will have to deal with.

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