2 travel fairs on different dates in March 2015

2 travel fairs on different dates in March 2015
People at the Natas Holidays travel fair held in August 2014 at the Singapore Expo.

The National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (Natas) will hold its next travel fair earlier, to avoid a clash with a rival fair.

The Natas fair will take place from March 6 to 8 at the Singapore Expo, three weeks earlier than previously announced, according to a circular sent out to its members on Monday.

The circular noted that despite "significant adjustments" by Natas, the other side was going ahead with its fair.

"Natas believes the above dates and venue to be most suitable for exhibitors and consumers alike. It will take place immediately after the 15th day of Chinese New Year and the weekend just before the March school holidays," it said.

"This opens the window for last minute school holiday tour bookings."

A Natas spokesman confirmed that the dates have been moved forward, The Straits Times reported.

Last week, 24 travel agencies announced their decision to opt out of the Natas fair and hold their own fair from March 27 to 29, the original dates of the Natas fair. Representatives of the agencies, including major ones Dynasty Travel, SA Tours, CTC Travel and Chan Brothers, cited several issues, such as a lack of transparency by Natas.

Natas then made some concessions, saying its travel fairs next year will have free admission, lower booth rental charges and better publicity.

But the breakaway group said it would go ahead with their Outbound Travel Fair, at The Sands Expo and Convention Centre.

Natas' "sincerity in the long run is in doubt", Dynasty Travel's director of marketing communications Alicia Seah was quoted as saying.

This article was first published on Dec 3, 2014.
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