Malawi grabbed a key regional post during a re-launch of the Federation of Eastern and Southern Africa Travel Agent Associations (Fesata) held in Nairobi, Kenya recently.
Travel Agents Association of Malawi (Taam) president Ken Banda was elected Fesata’s vice president (finance) at the meeting.
The meeting was attended by representatives from seven national travel agent associations and these include national associations of Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Botswana and Angola.
A statement from Fesata said the new executive has been tasked with the responsibility of registering the association in Kenya, establishing organisational structures and raising funds to support the association’s functions and programmes.
Banda said in an interview in Lilongwe last week his election will raise both Malawi and the southern African region’s profile and footprint internationally.
“We shall aim at documenting and harmonising best practices in the travel agency community, so that members and their clients benefit widely,” he said.
At an Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Mangochi recently, Taam members vowed to embrace hard work and creativity as they serve clients in their competitive international business.
Egyptian Ambassador Maher El-Adawy, in a speech as a guest of honour at the meeting, challenged Taam members to rise up to the task of satisfying international customers and helping to earn the country the much-needed foreign currency.
He promised that his government is eager to help Malawi’s travel industry, particularly in boosting the tourism sector.
Fesata disbanded only a few years after it was established when South Africa, which initially hosted the new body, pulled out of the regional organisation.
The re-launch breathes new life into Fesata, whose secretariat, is in Kenya with active support from Kenya Association of Travel Agent (Kata).
The new association offers members a regional platform for addressing cross- border issues in the travel industry and also packs a single voice in articulating concerns of mutual interest at international forums.
Other executive members of Fesata are Tanzania Society of Travel Agents (Tasota) Moustafa Khataw, Kata and Shafi.