Midconsort Elite has appointed Jewel In The Crown sales director Paul Cowley to the newly-created position of general manager.

Cowley starts in the role, created following the defection of chief executive Charles Eftichiou to S8, on February 5.

Midconsort Elite chairman Neil Basnett said Cowley has been tasked with developing the consortium’s technology, reducing its number of preferred suppliers and increasing the membership to 150 agencies in three years.

Basnett added he was impressed by Cowley’s performance at tour operator Jewel In The Crown, where sales have increased from 15,000 passengers a year when Cowledy joined in 2001 to 44,000 for 2006.

His experience creating the operator’s website will also help with the implementation of the consortium’s dynamic packaging system Elite Desktop, said Basnett.

Cowley will continue in his role as a director of the Institute for Travel and Tourism and as a member of the ABTA Membership and Code of Conduct committees.