By Matthew Knott, News Editor of Study Travel Magazine

We have had a lot of stories from associations within our industry this week, with a number of innovative and interesting developments.

Firstly, Brazilian agency association Belta has launched a new inbound department. Having already been promoting inbound travel in its work with the country’s tourism organisation, Belta has moved to formally gather around 20 Portuguese language schools and agents offering inbound programmes into an official body, with membership of Gaela most likely on the agenda.

With the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this summer and the Rio Olympics in 2016, the country will certainly be high on the media and travel agenda for a while, so Belta has certainly seized an opportune moment to launch the brand. A couple of members of the nascent group have commented on the growth in interest in Brazil recently, and a couple of schools I have spoken to regarding the World Cup are expecting a long-term upturn in interest.

And today we report on the Spanish agency association Aseproce, which has unveiled the results of a third-party audit scheme that aims to drive standards within the industry. Such a regulation system has been a goal of President Juan Manuel Elizalde since being elected, and any scheme that focusses on standards and projects that image outwards is to be welcome.

The fact that Elizalde has consulted with fellow European associations and is eager to share the experience of the audit process with other agency associations worldwide through Felca highlights the benefits of agents working together to share best practice.

On the educator side, Malta’s English language school association Feltom is proudly celebrating 25 years of supporting the country’s ELT industry, and has unveiled a fresh new logo to mark the occasion. The anniversary comes on the back of what appears to have been another successful year for the island, according to provisional figures quoted by the Tourism Minister at the Feltom AGM this week.

And the importance of rebranding and investing are among the topics explored in this week’s ‘View from the desk of...’, an interview with Antonio Anadon, Owner and Founder of don Quijote and Enforex. Anadon also shares his knowledge of trends in the Spanish language study abroad market, as well as interesting developments in online provision.

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