ABTA is preparing to increase its membership subscriptions.

Speaking at the association’s annual general meeting in Newman Street on Wednesday, chief executive Mark Tanzer said the increase, which will be decided in a board meeting within the next two weeks, will be the first in six years.

He said the increased funds will help pay for the increase and launch of more health and safety and crisis management programmes which have already benefited from ABTA’s merger with the Federation of Tour Operators.

Funds will also be used to grow the newly-launched seminars programme run by the association, which last year recorded a profit of more than £164,000 from an annual income of £5.7 million for the year ending June 30 2007.

Tanzer added: “The fact that the subscription fees haven’t changed in six years means they’ve gone down in real terms; we’ve seen a real dip in the subscription income.”

ABTA’s AGM also saw members vote to increase the number of members sitting on the board from nine to 12.