Natas to waive entrance fee for next year's travel fair

People at the Natas Holidays travel fair held in August 2014 at the Singapore Expo. Natas said on Thursday that it will waive the entrance frees to next year's fair, in line with Singapore's 50th birthday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
People at the Natas Holidays travel fair held in August 2014 at the Singapore Expo. Natas said on Thursday that it will waive the entrance frees to next year's fair, in line with Singapore's 50th birthday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas) will waive the $4 entrance fees for both its fairs in March and August next year.

This is to celebrate Singapore's 50th year of nationhood and not a direct response to a rival fair set up by a group of travel agencies, Natas president Devinder Ohri said at a press conference on Thursday.

Speaking after a forum with 75 Natas members was held earlier in the day, Mr Ohri told reporters that he was optimistic that only one fair will be held in March next year.

About 80 to 90 per cent of the issues brought up by the members at the forum have been resolved, he said, without giving further details.

He did not say if this meant that the another travel fair organised by its largest members, which was supposed to be held on the same day as the Natas Travel Fair, would be cancelled.

On Tuesday, a group of 24 travel agencies including the "Big Four" - Dynasty Travel, SA Tours, CTC Travel and Chan Brothers Travel - announced that they will be holding a rival fair at Marina Bay Sands from March 27 to 29.

Next March's Natas fair will be held on the same dates at Singapore Expo.

Besides the "Big Four" agencies - CTC Travel, Dynasty Travel, Chan Brothers Travel and SA Tours - other agencies include Apple Holidays, Nam Ho Travel and Farmosa Holidays.

Representatives of the agencies said several issues, such as the lack of transparency by the National Association of Travel Agencies Singapore (Natas), had led to the pull out.