Radical changes to the constitution of ABTA were approved by its membership today but only thanks to the association’s large operator members.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting at the association’s Newman Street headquarters in London this morning an original poll of members resulted in just 72% in favour, short of the 75% needed to pass the proposals.

The turn out was extremely low with just 17% of the membership casting a vote and only around 35 members were at the meeting to make their vote in person.

The changes, that will see the board numbers reduced and the association’s name changed to Abta Ltd, were then put to a casting vote of members based on the value of their membership with one vote per £10.

This resulted in a 95% result backing the changes with 130,928 votes in favour of the total of 137,072.  

ABTA president Justin Fleming said: “This was a right and just vote and I was pleased with the way the issues were debated and everyone had the opportunity to speak.”

Growing opposition to the plans at board level lead by outgoing director Alan Cornish of Corona Holidays had threatened to derail the plans with three other board members known to have come out against the proposals.