Africa Travel Week
Otto de Vries

Behind the Mic with Otto de Vries

Otto de Vries is the CEO of ASATA (Association of Southern African Travel Agents), past Chairman of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) and a Board member of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA). He has been active in the travel industry for 33 years, 23 of those in senior management roles in the inbound, retail and wholesale sectors. He is a WTAAA delegate to the IATA Passenger Agency Global Joint Council (PAPGJC) and currently Chairs the WTAAA Air Committee and the TBCSA Audit and Risk Committee. Through the PAPGJC he has participated in a number of committees and working groups, including the steering group on NDC Thought Leadership, the Transparency in Payment Advisory Group, the IATA ADM Working Group, the Risk Management Working Group and the Airline Distribution Advisory Forum.   

 During the Covid-19 pandemic Otto has actively lobbied for the safe re-opening of travel, both domestically and internationally; including involvement in the development of health protocols and marketing recovery strategies for South Africa, the roll-out of digital vaccination certifications and participation in the global Travel Again project, whose mission it was to unite the global travel industry to restore consumer and corporate confidence in travelling and encourage responsible government policy globally. 

Q&A with Otto 

What are you hoping could ignite enthusiasm on what you’re going to speak about? (without giving away too much)  

Opportunities and lessons for my members to stimulate recovery and the growth of their businesses through recovery and beyond, as we settle into the new normal. 

What have you missed with regards to face-to-face contact in the events speaking space?  

People getting a real sense of the passion and commitment we deliver every day for our members. 

How did you come to do what you do, tell us a bit about your career advancement?  

Forgive me but here’s my LinkedIn profile. 

Based on your five senses, what are you looking forward to most at the show this year: 

  • See: people talking travel 
  • Taste: the hunger for everyone to get into the new normal 
  • Feel: the energy only a gathering of travel and tourism people can generate 
  • Hear: the conversations and laughter of people meeting and re-uniting 
  • Smell: the desire to get the world travelling again 

What is the first thing you will do once you set foot in Cape Town?  

I live here so ummmm…😉 

Find me at WTM Africa:  

Topic: Where, how and why to travel in 2022 and beyond  

Date: 11 April 2022, 11:30 – 12:15  

Stage: Spotlight Stage 

Africa Travel Week

Africa Travel Week (ATW) focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology. Shows include: ILTM Africa, WTM Africa, EQUAL Africa, ibtm AFRICA, Travel Forward, Sports & Events Tourism Exchange and African Tourism Investment Summit.