Sergei Agafonov – about why one HUNDRED goes to the regions, the Agency and registry together with the
The Union of travel agencies (CTA) after some calm returned to active activities. In October, the Association celebrated with two events –organized a round table on the forum if it in 2016, caused a great resonance in proprete, and opened an office in Yekaterinburg, which became the third one this year. About the background of the events says Chairman of the Board Sergey Agafonov.
So, Sergey, what is connected with an active activity that has developed Your organization? It seems that in the second half of the year, the Association suddenly got a second wind…
This did not happen suddenly. As You know, the HUNDRED has always been a supporter of the establishment of the register of travel agencies as the prototype of an effective system of regulation of the retail market. It is expected that from 1 January 2017 to work on the market, only those companies that entered the registry. X hour is getting closer, however, we see that the Agency remains a lot of questions. In addition, there is a need of adjustments in sectoral legislation, in particular the elimination of rules under which the travel agent can only work on behalf of the tour operator. Time to adapt, all market participants have less. This is the background that requires one HUNDRED as a public organisation to do more and to be at the center of events.
Good, but this time will come sooner or later and will take place, and regional offices that a HUNDRED was opened in Rostov-on-don, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg will remain. What will they do?
One of the strategic objectives – the promotion of domestic tourism. At a press conference on the opening of representative offices in Yekaterinburg was attended by the Director of the Center for tourism of the Sverdlovsk region Elmira Tukanova. And she confirmed the interest in promoting domestic tourism products through the travel Agency, using the capabilities of our organization.
You called domestic tourism one of the objectives. Are there others?
Of course. A HUNDRED plan to make several units to coordinate activities on several fronts. It is not only the development of recreation opportunities in Russia but also, for example, the Committee in IT-technologies. Detailed plans are now being formed. And, of course, the creation of a network of regional offices will help to improve the understanding between Federal Agency networks, which created of a HUNDRED, with colleagues in the field. If you have previously the travel agencies, there was almost no opportunity to discuss joint initiatives, each cooked in its juice, but now the opportunity appears. Round table one HUNDRED in the International tourism investment forum showed that this format of communication is very popular and productive.
What was the impact on the work of the Union of personnel changes in the leadership?
After the President of a HUNDRED was Sergei Goals, the development went from many directions. I can say that with his arrival the members of the Board is easier to agree among themselves to plan the work of the Union. Though we are all competitors, but like-minded, concerned to defend the interests of the agent community.
The Board included one HUNDRED head of the Federal tourism Agency Oleg Safonov. On the one hand, it’s good for the Association, as it gives a certain status, a direct channel of interaction with industry government. On the other hand, it is official, not representing the interests of business and state. Isn’t there a potential conflict? Whether there were cases when the position of the Board do not coincide with the opinion of Safonov?
No, such was not the case, and grounds for conflict do not see. As I said, one of the strategic goals of STA – the development of domestic tourism. The Federal tourism Agency of the same tasks, so our interests coincide. Oleg participates in meetings and talks to us, listens to our opinion. The Federal Agency for tourism, for example, supports our point of view about the fact that the Agency must be able to work on their own behalf, and not only from the tour operator. We share the position regarding the register of travel agencies.
By the way, why one HUNDRED and so persistently promoting agent registry? After all, from the point of view of legislation, the regulations of reference are not yet determined, and so You prematurely assume some responsibility, defending only this form of market regulation.
Tourism is already an example of a tour operator the registry, which has shown its effectiveness. The site Turpomoschi neutral to the participants of the agent market and in its origin affilirovana with the same tourism. I believe that business is good. Has a working Supervisory Board, created and tested the mechanism of interaction of representatives of business and government. It is logical that he was involved in the Agency market.
With regard to contributions. You know, if the agencies have proposed mandatory, do not enter in the register, and the SRO, the costs would have been much more serious. Not of 1 000 rubles per year, and much more. According to my calculations, the mandatory membership in the SRO would cost 100 thousand rubles annually. So opponents of the registry just do not know what was going to “alternative” registry, or managed to forget about it.
Well, registry is clear. What in the future will focus the efforts of a HUNDRED, where will You direct Your lobbying efforts?
It is very important that an amendment was introduced that enables travel agents to work on their behalf. That many want, and I hope that the voice of a HUNDRED will be heard.
Why HUNDRED, as a public organization of travel agents did not support actions to boycott the together with tour operators? Is defending the interests of retail – not Your problem?
Of course, the purpose of STA is to protect the interests of travel agents, as we are – is retail. One HUNDRED totally opposed to together with, because he understands that this tool deprives agencies of the opportunity to earn. The question is, in what form to protest? We believe that attempts to change the situation using one, in fact, a single stock is not the best option. One HUNDRED and prefers to act systemically. It is necessary to conduct preparatory work to attract other industry organizations may enlist the support of some tour operators, and then to make a theme for public discussion. For example, on the Second all-Russian Congress of travel agents, which may be a result of a joint resolution on this issue.
As a result, we get a clearly formulated position of the Agency community, which can already be presented to the tour operators. I am sure that with this approach, they will listen. At least they have an understanding that together with is a dead – end path, causing a negative from a wide range of retailers. How high will cancel the together with.
Here’s the correct way in our opinion.
What grassroots initiatives are You ready to support one in a HUNDRED should go on this issue?
We are ready to support all initiatives that are for the benefit of the Agency community. You can contact the President of the CTA Sergei the Head or Executive management – to Svetlana Budko.