The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore, also known as NATAS, was founded in May 1979. Prior to the formation of NATAS, the following associations were in place:
1958 to 1967
Singapore Travel Agents Association (STAA).
1967 to 1978
STAA was changed to ATTA (Association of Travel & Tourism Association) perceived to represent IATA members only.
1970 to 1979
A new association, Singapore Society of Travel Agents (SSTA) was formed, to represent the non-IATA members.
In 1978, there was a growing consciousness among members of both associations that there should be only one united body to represent all licensed travel agents, irrespective of their type of operations. Subsequently, talks among the officials of both associations aimed at realising this objective took place, resulting in ATTA changing its name to TAAS (Travel Agents Association of Singapore) in order to pave the way for a united association.
1979 to Present
To attain the same objective, TAAS invited SSTA to transfer all their membership to TAAS. In March 1979, TAAS finally changed its name to the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore, as the national body to represent all travel agents in Singapore.
This move proved to be in the right direction, as amongst the many advantages; a single travel agents association eliminated duplication of efforts; achieved a stronger voice in the travel industry; provided better co-ordination in its approach to government bodies; and projected a better image of the travel trade overseas.
Since its inception, NATAS has seen its membership grown from just 82 members to almost 400 ordinary, associate and honorary life members today.
As an industry-led organization, NATAS represents the Singapore travel agency community that commands 80% of the total market share. Acting as the voice of the industry, NATAS strives to ensure the sustained and continued development of travel agencies while supporting and spearheading education and training. At the same time, NATAS aims to promote and foster goodwill and cooperation within the local travel agency community, counterparts in the region and the rest of the world.
Bi-annually, NATAS organizes two of Singapore’s largest consumer travel fairs, TRAVEL and HOLIDAYS. The two fairs draw more than 100,000 visitors and bring together a host of outbound travel agents, national tourist organisations, airlines, hotels and other travel-related services.
Education & Training
In a bid to upgrade the professionalism, service and productivity of the travel and tourism industry, the Tourism Management Institute of Singapore (TMIS) was officially launched on 16 November 2000 and is a 100% owned subsidiary of NATAS.
Other than to provide training for industry members, TMIS also actively promotes and provide tourism courses and training to the public in Singapore and in the region.
Other NATAS Initiatives
6 July 2006
In line with our vision and mission statement, NATAS, jointly with TMIS and the Work Development Agency (WDA), launched the Tourism Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Framework for the tour and travel sector.
26 July 2006
NATAS launched a joint accreditation scheme with CASE for the travel industry. The NATAS-CASETRUST accreditation scheme was developed to raise the standards within the travel industry and also bring about consumer confidence among consumers in buying from NATAS member travel agents.
15 November 2010
The Customer-Centric Initiative (CCI) was launched for the travel services sector. This is spearheaded by NATAS with the support of the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and SPRING Singapore. The aim is to encourage each and every member of the travel agency industry to commit to service excellence and to raise standards, particularly in the areas of service leadership, service agility and delivery of a quality customer experience.
NATAS Industry Engagement
In line with the association’s policy of proactive engagement with industry associates, NATAS maintains an extensive network of dialogue partners. We are members of the following regional and international organizations:
1. ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA)
2. Federation of ASEAN Travel Association (FATA)
3. United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA)
4. Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC)
5. Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCCI)
6. American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
7. Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)