ABTA has appointed lastminute.com travel director John Bevan and Majestic Travel managing director Steven Freudmann to its new board.

The pair will join the slimmed down board – made up of four elected members, the president and the ABTA chief executive – on September 12. A third appointed member will be announced.

Following the announcement, Bevan said: “I will help ABTA grow its representation with online companies and having lastminute.com  on the board will increase ABTA’s lobbying power. I have spent 20 years in the travel industry, viewing the industry both as a member and non-member of ABTA.

Freudmann added: “I promise to protect the interests of the small independent agent. ABTA needs to influence Government, enforce its powerful code of conduct, encourage training, raise standards, respond to the marketplace and be accountable to members. ABTA must be strong and visible.”

A spokesman said an announcement next Tuesday will reveal the nominees for the presidential position before the election is held in time for the September ABTA board meeting.