A record number of candidates are competing for places on the board of the Insitute of Travel and Tourism this year.
In total there were 17 nominations this year for places on the nine-strong board, almost double last year’s nine.
Already four directors have been voted on to the board unopposed. Ballot papers for members to vote on the remaining 13 candidates – who are contesting five board vacancies – will go out next week, with a result is due in early July.
ITT chairman Steven Freudmann said the interest in board places represented a sea-change in the popularity of the organisation, which only about five or six years ago struggled to drum up enough support for new candidates.
He said: “Several years ago the ITT was having financial difficulties and losing its way and we had great difficulty getting people to stand for the board. It’s fantastic to get such an incredible response this year.”
The general category on the board has been the most popular, with nine candidates competing for three vacancies. Of these nine, six are brand new candidates. They are: Mike Greenacre, of The Co-operative Travel; Karen Gee, formerly of Shearings Holidays; Matt Cheevers, of Teletext Holidays; John Harding, of hotels4u.com; Barbara Kolosinka, of C&M Recruitment; and Geoff Saltmarsh, of The Saltmarsh Partnership. Existing board directors contesting the same three vacancies are Lawrence Assock, Kristina Wallen and Richard English.
The ground transportation vacancy is being contested by two candidates; existing board member Jane Dunham and new candidate Doug Wardle. The tourist board vacancy is contested by existing board members Philippa Harris and Bill Maxwell.
Already voted on to the board last week are Sue Kavanagh, who has been elected to the training and education role; Neil Herbert, in the tour operator role; Paul Cowley, in the airline/airport category; and Simon Johnson, in the domestic tourism role. Johnston, P&O Ferries sales and marketing director, is the only one who is new to the board.
Meanwhile, Travel Weekly lifetime vice president Trevor Harding has been re-elected president for the next 12 months.