OPERATORS are scaling down numbers at this year’s ABTA
Convention in the aftermath of the US attacks.

For most, the cutbacks are symbolic of industry-wide
cost-cutting following the terrorist crisis on top of the general economic
slowdown. But some simply do not want all senior staff out of the office during
such marketing uncertainty.

Thomson will send 10 senior staff – half the amount planned.
Chief executive Charles Gurassa, Thomson Holidays managing director Shaun
Powell, UK distribution managing director Nigel David, and specialist holidays
group managing director Kevin Ivie, will stay at home. The operator still plans
to send 100 preferred gents to Lisbon. However, First Choice is understood to have
decided against taking its group of 100 agents.

Airtours and Cosmos are reviewing their attendance plans,
while JMC will still take about a dozen managerial staff. A Cosmos spokeswoman
said: “We want the people we send to reflect the total attendance.”

First Choice was unavailable for comment.