ORLANDO and Palermo are believed to be the current
front runners to host the ABTA Convention in 2004, Travel Weekly can reveal.

The two cities are among a host of destinations vying
for the honour, with a final decision expected in September. Other candidates
include Marrakesh, Tunis, Budapest, Cuba and South Korea.

Cairo delegates favoured Florida or Dubai for 2004.
Sources suggest Newman Street will only plump for a long-haul choice with
mass-market appeal.

Budapest and Marrakesh are further down the pecking
order. The Hungarian capital is said to have poor conference facilities, while
the timing of the event during Ramadan counts against Muslim Morocco.

ABTA head of corporate affairs Keith Betton said:
“Talks are ongoing, but so far we have only had three firm offers. There’s been
no offer from Orlando.”