The Elite Travel Group has appointed Wayne Darrock as its new chairman.

The JTA Travel Group managing director took the position at the beginning of the month following Neil Basnett’s decision last month to step down from the post.

Darrock has worked as an Elite board member for two years and has been involved with the consortium through his employment with JTA for more than 20 years.

He said: “I am delighted and proud to be the new chairman. There is a massive task ahead, especially to follow the fantastic achievements of our former chairman Neil.

“Elite is in its best position for many years regarding the future. We must capitalize on our strength as a consortium for the real independent travel agents. It is our aim to be the most respected and professional consortium in the market place where we deliver on our promises to both members and suppliers.”

Meanwhile the group has announced it is being joined by Cheshire-based agency Travel by Design which was formerly a Worldchoice member.

Travel by Design managing partner Kristina Hulme said: “We are excited by the prospect of working with a smaller organisation. Working with Worldchoice was enjoyable but we feel it is the right time to move on.”

The group is currently undergoing an expansion programme with nearly 100 members now and is aiming for a total of 150.