Natas waives entrance fees for 2015 travel fair

SINGAPORE - The National Association of Travel Agencies Singapore (Natas) said Thursday that it will waive the entrance fees to next year's travel fair in conjunction with Singapore's 50th birthday, reported The Straits Times.

This decision was made after 24 travel agencies pulled out of an upcoming Natas travel fair to be held in March 2015, citing disagreements with Natas as the reason, according to various media outlets.

According to The Straits Times, they plan to organise a separate fair on the same dates at Marina Bay Sands from March 27 to 29 next year, with free admission.

Based on previous Natas fairs, sales from these agencies made up 80 per cent of the total revenue, the paper reported.

Last week, Today newspaper reported that the agencies disagreed with Natas over the entrance fees charged to the public and how the proceeds from the fair were used.

Other than the "Big Four" agencies - CTC Travel, Dynasty Travel, Chan Brothers Travel and SA Tours - other agencies which have pulled out are Apple Holidays, Nam Ho Travel and Farmosa Holidays.

According to The Straits Times, the agencies' representatives said that issues like the lack of transparency by Natas had led to the pull out.

Natas has been organising travel fairs since 1987 and each fair "attracts tens of thousands of visitors and generates millions in sales", according to Today.