ABTA is to continue to hold an overseas conference next year but will also offer a series of replica UK events.

Chief executive Mark Tanzer poured cold water on rumours the main convention will be held in the UK next year due to the current economic climate.

Liverpool had been the hot favourite for a UK based conference.

He said it was vital the travel industry continued to hold its main convention overseas. “If we don’t travel, no-one will. We will have an overseas convention without doubt but it will be a two-handed approach next year,” he said.

He added: “The economics of the event would be difficult to stage in the UK.”

A series of two or three UK events would ensure agents do not miss out because they cannot afford to go to the main convention. These will cover the same content as the main event.

Locations for next year’s events have yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, ABTA and the Federation of Tour Operators confirmed they will move into their new combined offices in London Bridge in January. The new offices offer one open plan office for all staff.

More news from the ABTA 2008 Travel Convention