1 Jun, 2016
Singapore – The newly-reelected President of the National Association of Travel Agents of Singapore (NATAS) has set his sights on fulfilling three major objectives which in fact apply not just to his constituency but the global travel agency community at large.
Mr. Devinder Ohri was re-elected NATAS President at the 37th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 19 May 2016 for another two-year term. He now heads an executive committee comprising of what he calls “the future faces of NATAS” who won a clean sweep of all four positions being contested with an average margin of 66 per cent of the valid votes cast.
Six of the ten office-bearers elected, including those who were returned uncontested, are new faces in the Executive Committee. The new and younger “next generation” team comprises of Mr Steven Ler as Deputy President, Mr Albert Hong as Secretary-General and Mr Simon Er as Treasurer.
“The average age of the 10 members of Executive Committee is now (as of 2016) 49. This is the first time that the average is below 50,” Mr Ohri said.
Mr. Ohri, himself the son of veteran Singaporean travel personality Prem Ohri, and grandson of pioneering founder of G.C.Nanda & Sons, after whom the agency is named, said his three-pronged objective would be to:
(+) Champion the cause of the small independent agencies;
(+) Achieve price/product parity from major suppliers versus what is available over the internet, and;
(+) Have the Singapore Tourism Board re-look at outdated travel agency licensing rules & regulations to bring it in-line with the realities of the internet age and the border-less world we live in. Mr. Ohri said these rules have remained “fundamentally intact from the 1970s except for some window dressing every decade or so.”
Two objectives achieved in his first term were to get one IATA Bank Guarantee for all airlines in the Bank Settlement Plan, and restore profitability at the Tourism Management Institute of Singapore, the NATAS training school.
Mr Ohri complimented the democratic spirit which led to his re-election.
“I welcomed the challenge put up by a rival team within our membership to contest four of the highest offices of the Association as being a positive sign of progress and a step in the right direction. Healthy competition in free and fairly contested elections is good for any democratic Association because it ensures renewal as we mature and move forward.”
He added, “I am most heartened and encouraged with the results because our Executive Committee’s talent acquisition and renewal process is now well underway with significant key positions being filled by what I call the future faces of NATAS.”
“The fact that we were able to win a clean sweep of all four positions being contested with an average margin of 66 per cent of the valid votes cast is clear indication and re-affirmation that the majority of our general membership is supportive of our performance and changes being made.”
The newly elected Executive Committee Members for the term 2016 – 2018 are:
President: Mr Devinder Ohri, Director, G. C. Nanda & Sons Pte Ltd
Deputy President: Mr Steven Ler, Executive Director, UOB Travel Planners Pte Ltd
Secretary-General: Mr Albert Hong, Head, Corporate Travel Services Changi Travel Services Pte Ltd
Honorary Treasurer: Mr Simon Er, General Manager, Business Events Scenic Travel Pte Ltd
Chairman – Inbound: Mr Samson Tan, Chief Executive Officer GTMC Travel Pte Ltd
Chairman – Outbound: Mr Clifford Neo, Managing Director / COO
Chairman – Air Transport: Dynasty Travel International Pte Ltd,
Mr Albert Ho Executive Director Citystate Travel Pte Ltd
Chairman – Surface Transport: Mr Micker Sia, Managing Director, WTS Travel & Tours Pte Ltd
Chairman – Manpower & Training: Ms Fiona Lim, Director, Business Development, Concepts Golf Management Pte Ltd
Chairman – Information Technology: Mr Ang Eu Khoon, Director, San’s Tours & Car Rentals
STB Representative: Ms Ong Ling Lee, Director, Singapore Tourism Board (STB)
Read more about the NATAS election: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/amid-internal-tensions-natas-re-elects-devinder-ohri-president